Oct 13, 2016 04:09 PM

Aviation Officials Attribute Shanghai Airport Near-Collision to Traffic Controller Error

(Beijing) — China's top aviation authority has said that air traffic controller error was the cause of a runway scare that saw two China Eastern Airlines planes nearly collide at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport on Tuesday.

In a brief statement released Wednesday afternoon, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said that the conclusion was based on preliminary interviews with the pilots of the two planes, communications between the pilots and air traffic control officials, radar data, and information from flight data recorders.

The regulators did not say what punishment, if any, the air traffic controllers face as the investigation is still ongoing.

A China Eastern Airbus A320 plane about to take off from Shanghai to the northern port city of Tianjin was taxiing along a runway at 200 kph when an Airbus A330, also from China Eastern, slowly crossed its path, according to the Beijing News.

The pilots of the A320 were forced to perform an emergency takeoff to avoid a collision, although it is not clear how close the two jetliners were.

China Eastern Airlines, one of the three major carriers in China, said Wednesday that it will reward the pilots of the A320 for their handling of the emergency, according to the Beijing News.

The airline did not confirm how many passengers were on board the two planes at the time.

Contact reporter Li Rongde (; editor Kerry Nelson (

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