Regulation

FAA Makes Changes at SFO in Wake of July Incident, Reports Say

By S.L. Fuller | August 17, 2017

NTSB SFO

Image courtesy of NTSB

The FAA has changed night landing procedures at San Francisco International Airport, multiple news outlets have reported. This follows a July incident, in which the NTSB said an Air Canada Airbus A320 was cleared to land on a runway, but instead lined up on a parallel taxiway and overflew four aircraft at below 100 feet above the ground.

Several news reports, including Associated Press and CBS San Francisco Bay Area, said an FAA spokesperson said visual approaches would no longer be used to air crews approaching that airport at night, when an adjacent parallel runway is closed.

According to the NTSB, both pilots of the Air Canada A320, in post-incident interviews, said that they believed they were lined up correctly, having mistaken a lighted runway for a different runway, which was actually closed for construction. The closed runway, which was accommodating construction, had approach and runway lights turned off, according to the NTSB. It also had a lit runway closure marker placed at the threshold. The runway on which the A320 was cleared to land on had runway and approach lighting on and set to default settings.

As of Aug. 2, the NTSB investigation was ongoing.

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