Aviation safety investigations & reports

Runway incursion; Brisbane Airport, Qld; 21 April 2006; VH-VXS, Boeing Company 737–838; Tug 92, Aircraft tow vehicle

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 21 April 2006, a Brisbane Airport surface movement controller (SMC) issued a clearance for the driver of an aircraft tow vehicle to cross an active runway in front of a Boeing Company 737 aircraft which had been lined-up on the runway ready for departure. The crew of the 737 aircraft had been issued with a take-off clearance by the aerodrome controller (ADC) and subsequently commenced takeoff. The SMC and ADC services were being provided on separate radio frequencies.

The crew of the tow vehicle later reported that they were still within the runway strip when the 737 aircraft passed behind them airborne. The flight crew of the 737 had observed the tow vehicle crossing the runway during the take-off roll, but had assessed that the vehicle would be clear of the runway prior to them reaching its observed position and decided to continue the take-off. The SMC later reported that he had wrongly believed that he had coordinated and received a clearance for the tug to cross the runway from the ADC.

As a result of this occurrence Airservices Australia has made changes to the coordination of runway crossing clearances, including the content, form and readback requirements and has mandated the use of movement strips for the SMC position at Brisbane. It reported that it has continued with efforts to reduce the number or required runway crossings, in consultation with the airport owner and is also in the early stages of a project to procure an Advanced Surface Movement Guidance System (A-SMGCS). Airservices Australia is also actively considering and pursuing the concept of having all runway crossings occurring on the ADC frequency as recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

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[Download  PDF: 546KB]
General details
Date: 21 April 2006   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 15:56    
Location   (show map): Brisbane Airport    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Runway incursion  
Release date: 28 June 2007   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 737  
Aircraft registration VH-VXS  
Serial number 33725  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Brisbane, Qld  
Departure time 15:56  
Destination Mount Isa, Qld  
Last update 18 April 2018