Second ‘Near Miss’ At Helsinki Airport Being Investigated

Finnair flight from Brussels had to abort its first landing attempt after Bombardier jet went onto the runway.

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File picture of plane taking off at Helsinki Airport / Credit: Finavia

An investigation is underway after an apparent ‘near miss’ at Helsinki Airport involving two planes.

It happened on Wednesday morning, and it’s the second incident at the capital city airport this week.

The Accident Investigation Centre OTKES says it is looking into the circumstances that lead to a commercial jet entering an active runway when a passenger plane was on final approach.

The Bombardier 600 went to the runway as a Finnair flight from Brussels was just 2km away and preparing to land.

The Bombardier was ordered to stop, and the Finnair plane had to abort its first landing attempt, and fly in a loop to try again. It landed the second time with no problems.

“Flight command ordered the commercial jet to stop, and air traffic control asked the Finnair plane to go around again, and make another runway approach” says OTKES Executive Director Veli-Pekka Nurmi.

While the Finnair plane made a second attempt at landing, it gave the Bombardier enough time to leave the active runway.

Visibility at Helsinki Airport was poor at the time of the incident according to Nurmi, but he says it shouldn’t have made any difference, because under no circumstances should a plane be allowed to enter a runway without permission.

OTKES estimates that the first results of the investigation will be ready next week.

Tuesday Incident For Riga Fligh

Meanwhile on Tuesday, there was another ‘near miss’ at Helsinki Airport when a passenger plane heading to Riga was given permission to go on the runway, even as two tractors and a snow blower vehicle were using it.

On Tuesday, there was another ‘near miss’ at Helsinki Airport when a passenger plane heading to Riga was given permission to enter the runway as two tractors and a snow blower vehicle were still using it.

OTKES is calling this previous incident ‘serious’.

The Finnair flight operated by Norra had 60 passengers on board.

“The situation was not clearly controlled by air traffic control” says Nurmi.

“If a workman gets permission to be doing work on the runway, one must be confident that no-one will get in the way of the aircraft. And if a plane is on the runway, it must be able to trust that nobody will be there operating machines or anything else” Nurmi adds.