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Analysis

Summary

The plans developed by the airport operator and contractor did not adequately address the use of taxiway Delta by both aircraft and works vehicles during the day. The plan relied on work staff to remember that the taxiway was also available for aircraft use. Consequently route markers were not used across taxiway Delta, leaving a gap in the markers defining the work area and site route. That was a fail unsafe situation.

It is possible that the truck driver was fatigued as he was near the end of his shift and had not had a break for several hours. The level of possible fatigue combined with the competing demands, to remain vigilant and to complete numerous tasks, may have caused the truck driver to approach information overload and reduce his overall performance, or to make a slip or lapse type error. A reduction in vigilance and awareness of the environment, combined with the driver's preoccupation with watching the approaching aircraft and the absence of any visual cues to indicate that he was entering an active taxiway, were probably the main reasons for him not recognising that he was turning onto Delta instead of taxiway Foxtrot.

If the works plan had included traffic management procedures for taxiway Delta during the day and had the route marking been continued across the taxiway, it is likely that the situation would have been prevented.

 
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