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On 17 February 2012, at about 1315 Central Standard Time, a Cessna 210, registered VH-RQD (RQD), was backtracking runway 18 for the general aviation parking area at Darwin airport, Northern Territory.  At the same time, a Cessna 310, registered VH-XXT (XXT), was holding at taxiway Echo 2 (E2) for an intersection departure from runway 29. 

The surface movement controller instructed RQD to cross runway 29 at about the same time as the aerodrome controller cleared XXT for takeoff on runway 29. It was estimated both visually and by radar that XXT then overflew RQD crossing the runway by between 150 ft and 500 ft.

Runway incursions are recognised as an ongoing safety concern for the aviation industry and have been cited in numerous accidents world-wide. They can be the result of many different factors and involve pilots, controllers and vehicle drivers. This incident highlights the need for controllers to remain vigilant in monitoring and scanning the runway, both prior to, and after issuing take-off and runway crossing clearances to pilots.


Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin – Issue 17

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