OHS Canada Magazine

Driver of maintenance vehicle who went on Pearson runway was distracted: TSB

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December 20, 2023
By The Canadian Press

Health & Safety Aviation Safety TSB

(MarioM/Adobe Stock)

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says a distracted maintenance worker who drove onto an active runway required an Air Canada plane to scrap an initial landing attempt to avoid a collision at Toronto’s Pearson airport last year.

A new report from the board says the driver of the maintenance vehicle was distracted by “the planning of the upcoming tasks that he would be supervising” at the time of the incident, which took place shortly after midnight on Oct. 15, 2022.

The TSB says that as a result, the driver was paying less attention to hazards on his route and drove onto the runway even though he had received — and read back — instructions not to do so.

According to the report, the air traffic controller saw what happened and told the plane to stop its approach and go back around before trying again.

The report says the plane was able to land “uneventfully” on its second try.


The board says the incident shows “how a lapse in attention by even an experienced airport maintenance vehicle driver can result in a runway incursion.”


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