Traffic controllers suspended for dangerous landing instructions at Vietnam airport

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Vietnam's aviation authorities have suspended four air traffic controllers at Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat Airport for nearly causing a collision between an airplane and a truck on the runway.

According to the latest decision by the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV), the controllers who gave a wrong order to an airplane that nearly led to an accident on October 1, will be fined and have their licenses revoked for three months.

The VnExpress news web site quoted the agency as saying that a traffic controller misread instructions for an airplane from Taiwan, ordering it to land on the wrong runway. There were people working with a a rubber removal truck on the runway that the plane was directed to land on.

Another staff member then recognized the mistake and asked his colleague to correct the order, VnExpress reported, adding that incident wasn't reported to the employees' supervisors.

This is not the the first time such an incident was recorded in Vietnam.

In March last year, CAAV revoked the licenses of four air traffic controllers at the Hanoi-based Noi Bai International Airport for a near-collission between a FedEx Corporation airplane and a truck on the runway.

The pilots discovered the truck when the airplane was around 18 meters above the runway. They had to pull up again and land the airplane safely ten minutes later.

In this case as well, the controllers did not report what had happened to their superiors. It was only when FedEx petitioned the CAAV that the latter launched an investigation into the case.

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