Aviation safety investigations & reports

Runway incursion at Sydney Airport, 30 September 2004

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Sequence of events

On 30 September 2004, at approximately 0920 Eastern Standard Time, a Sydney Airport Corporation works safety officer (WSO) drove a vehicle across runway 07/25 at Sydney airport. The driver did not receive a clearance from air traffic control (ATC) to enter the runway. The WSO was leading a works party consisting of a total of four vehicles, all of which crossed the runway.

Although the runway was not active at the time of the occurrence, a clearance to cross or to enter a non-active runway was still required to be obtained from ATC. The WSO later reported that she was aware that the runway was not active, but that a clearance to cross a non-active runway was required.

The WSO was authorised to drive on all airside areas of Sydney airport. That included an authorisation to operate on, and cross, runways and taxiways in accordance with airport procedures.

The WSO reported that:

  • She was familiar with runway and taxiway signage and markings
  • At the time of the occurrence she was training another works safety officer who was a passenger in the vehicle
  • She had only received about 4 hours of sleep the night before the shift
  • The weather at Sydney airport at the time of the occurrence was below visual meteorological conditions and raining.

The investigation concluded that the WSO may have been fatigued. Weather conditions at the time of the occurrence and training officer duties may also have exacerbated the situation.

General details
Date: 30 September 2004   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0922 hours EST    
Location   (show map): Sydney, Aero.    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Runway incursion  
Release date: 24 December 2004   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer No Aircraft Involved  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Last update 13 May 2014