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Photo: Finavia

Serious safety incidents at Helsinki Airport

An investigation is launched into two separate and potentially dangerous incidents this week.

An investigation has been launched into two separate and potentially dangerous incidents this week at Helsinki Airport.

The Safety Investigation Authority in the Ministry of Justice, which investigates all major aviation, maritime and rail accidents, has begun a preliminary investigation into what it calls the “hazardous” incidents.

The first occurred on January 23 when, according to the Safety Investigation Authority, air traffic control gave clearance for a passenger aircraft to proceed to the runway area.

However, the runway was at that same time occupied by three work machines that had also received permission to be there.

The second incident took place the following day when a commercial aircraft was taxiing to a runway at Helsinki Airport – against the instructions of air traffic control.

At the time, a passenger aircraft was landing on the runway, with permission. Fortunately, air traffic control intervened in the situation.

Air traffic control services at Finland’s Finavia-operated airports are the responsibility of the state-owned company ANS Finland, which for its part oversees the safety and fluency of the country’s air traffic. Finavia has asked ANS Finland to provide its own report on the incidents.

“Even though nothing bad happened in these incidents, they were serious,” says Juha-Pekka Pystynen, Finavia’s senior vice president responsible for risk management.

“It is important to us that incidents are investigated thoroughly and that, through investigations, air traffic security is improved. For Finavia, the absolute safety of air traffic is a priority in all circumstances.”

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