ASL Belgium B734 at Porto on Apr 27th 2021, cleared for takeoff despite vehicle on runway
Last Update: May 4, 2021 / 18:21:54 GMT/Zulu time
About 12 minutes earlier tower had cleared a follow me vehicle to perform the nightly runway inspection. The vehicle entered runway 35 and worked northbound reaching the threshold runway 17. The vehicle turned around to now move southbound when the driver saw bright white lights near the threshold of runway 35 which seemed to move and queried with tower whether an aircraft was lining up runway 35. Tower reported an aircraft was in their takeoff run and instructed the vehicle to immediately vacate the runway via the left runway edge.
The Boeing crew saw two white lights but weren't sure whether these were runway edge lights due to the night environment. After becoming airborne and in the climb the crew queried with tower about the vehicle and received a reply, that this was a misunderstanding.
Portugal's GPIAA reported according to estimation by the vehicle driver as well as preliminary analysis of the ground radar the separation between the vehicle and aircraft reduced to 300 meters. The occurrence was rated a serious incident and is being investigated by the GPIAA.
This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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