Jump to Content

Summary

Summary

The aerodrome controller (ADC) had given a conditional clearance for a Saab 340 to line up on runway 16R behind a landing Boeing 737 (B737). The ADC then gave the surface movement controller (SMC) a conditional clearance for a Boeing 767 (B767) to cross runway 16R at taxiway Lima when clear of the landing B737.

The SMC issued the clearance for the B767 to cross the runway as the B737 vacated the runway at taxiway A4. The ADC observed the B737 vacate the runway at taxiway A4 and cleared the Saab 340 for take-off. The pilot of the Saab 340 rejected the take-off clearance and advised the ADC that there was a B767 crossing the runway.

The Manual of Air Traffic Services (MATS) 6-2-3 paragraph 31 stated:

"Before clearing an aircraft for take-off, and immediately before the take-off is commenced, the tower controller shall make a visual check from the control tower to determine, as far as practicable, that the take-off path is not obstructed." The ADC made a visual check of the runway, however, he only scanned between the runway 16R threshold and the point where the B737 was vacating the runway at taxiway A4. The ADC did not continue the visual check through to the upwind end of the runway. The B767 was crossing the runway at taxiway Lima, which was between taxiway A4 and the upwind end of the runway. The ADC had forgotten about the conditional clearance given to the SMC for the B767 to cross the runway.

There was no standard practice in Australia for the use of "blocking strips" or "memory prompts" by controllers to alert them of the presence of aircraft not under their direct control crossing or entering an active runway. In this particular incident, the ADC did not use, nor was he required to use, a memory prompt to remind him of the conditional clearance given to the SMC for the B767.

 
Share this page Comment