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Analysis

Summary

The difficulty in accurately locating aircraft on the high speed taxiway A4S at night from the control tower is evidenced by the controller twice assuming that OGG had departed the runway and entered the taxiway. The awareness among local controllers of this difficulty should have encouraged the use of procedures to ensure the maintenance of required standards. However, the controller only recognised that his visual assessment was incorrect when advised by the crew of OGG. It is likely that the controller subsequently assessed that as CZO had not lined up, it was not necessary to cancel the clearance, but the two aircraft should simply be monitored.

The procedures relating to take-off clearances permitted a degree of discretion by the controller. However, that discretion was conditional upon a valid determination of collision risk and the maintenance of separation standards. Consequently, MATS 6-2-3 paragraph 32 was not appropriate to the issuing of the take-off clearance, as the controller had not positively identified the relative positions of the aircraft.

 
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