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Wales Online
Wales Online
Brett Gibbons

Ryanair holiday jets including UK-bound flight in near miss at Spanish airport

Two Ryanair jets narrowly avoided a serious collision at a busy Spanish holiday airport, it has been revealed.

An official probe by the Spanish civil aviation authority (CIAIAC) found an air traffic controller at Malaga airport had given one plane the green light to land whilst another was preparing to take-off on the same runway.

The two Boeing 737s were just 520 metres apart at one stage which occurred on September 11, 2019.

A CIAIAC reported issued this week read: "There was no degree of assurance that the regulatory separation could be maintained, as the aircraft on approach was travelling faster than the aircraft on take-off, increasingly reducing the separation between the aircraft.”

Almost 400 passengers were aboard the two planes, which included a jet taking off for Liverpool. The plane landing was coming in from Germany, reports

The report claimed that crew from the departing Liverpool-bound flight said they were given clearance for an immediate take-off without the air traffic controller ever informing them that an aircraft was on its final approach.

Weather and visibility were good at the time of the incident, while the volume of flights using Malaga airport did not contribute.

The investigation concluded: “The investigation has determined that the incident occurred because an aircraft was given clearance to land on a runway that was occupied by another aircraft in the process of taking off, without respecting the regulatory distances."

It blamed “deficient planning” by an air traffic controller when scheduling a take-off in a gap between landings, and failure to cancel the take off, for the incident.

A spokesperson for the no-frills airline said: “We welcome this CIAIAC investigation report, which confirms the Ryanair pilots acted fully in accordance with procedure when reacting to this ATC error. The safety of our passengers and crew remains Ryanair’s number one priority.”

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