Page last updated at 09:19 GMT, Thursday, 11 February 2010

Manchester Airport acts after separate collisions

Manchester airport
The incidents happened more than a year apart in the same area

Air traffic controllers at Manchester Airport have changed instructions to pilots after confusion led to taxiing planes colliding.

Aircraft involved in the two collisions in 2007 and 2008 were damaged, but none of the 468 passengers was hurt.

The pilot of the Boeing 737, which struck the tail of a passing plane, said the words "give way" confused him.

A report, by the Air Accident Investigations Branch, prompted the airport to withdraw the term.

Instead, the pilot told investigators, air traffic controllers should use the phrase "hold position".

The confusion between the pilot and controllers led to the right winglet of the Tenerife-bound Boeing 737 hitting the tail of a 107-passenger Lufthansa Airbus A320 which had been due to fly to Frankfurt.

Crews warned

The Boeing, operated by the now non-operational Spanish airline Futura, had 180 passengers aboard during the collision on 5 August 2008.

The crew believed there were no obstacles in the way and they had room to get past the A320, the report said.

In the other incident in 2007, the wing tip of a Pakistan International Airways (PIA) Boeing 777, with 144 passengers on board, struck the rudder of a 37-passenger Q400 aircraft operated by Flybe as it passed behind it.

Both aircraft were about to leave Manchester at about midday on 15 February 2007.

The AAIB said the crew of the PIA aircraft had been "cautioned about the presence" of the Flybe aircraft.

The pilot told the watchdog he thought there was enough room to proceed, and he expected a further warning if there was a problem.

The airport authorities have since made a number changes to procedures.

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Manchester Airport collision
05 Aug 08 |  England
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