Report Issued on Indonesian Runway Incursion

 - August 11, 2014, 10:45 AM
An Air Asia Airbus A320 almost collided with another aircraft at an Indonesian airport after a mix-up between pilots and controllers.

The pilots of an Air Asia Airbus A320 and air traffic controllers at Yogyakarta Adisutjipto Airport in south central Indonesia apparently became confused about what was expected of them on November 20 last year.

The confusion began when the Air Asia crew called for taxi instructions at 00:36 local. “The aircraft was cleared to taxi to the Runway 27 holding area via November Two (N2) by an Adi Tower controller. The pilot confirmed the instructions via N2, but asked to use taxiway November Three (N3),” said Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee in a final report published last week. The Adi Tower controller reconfirmed N2, but for some reason the pilot thought that they were approved to use taxiway N3, which brought them close to the Runway 27 threshold.

Just before entering the active runway, the PIC noticed an aircraft on final approach and immediately stopped the aircraft. The tower controller tried to halt the aircraft at about the same time, but the nose of the Airbus still ended up 53 feet past the hold-short lines.

The aircraft on final was a PT-Batik Boeing 737 still talking to the approach controller, who for reasons not specified cleared the aircraft to land instead of handing the flight to the tower frequency for that approval. This made it impossible for the tower controller to order the Boeing crew to execute a go-around.

The Boeing pilot landed and applied maximum braking and full reverse thrust when he apparently saw the Airbus. The aircraft came to a stop 300 feet short of the Airbus.