Air Canada jet almost lands on taxiway in San Francisco airport

Air Canada jet in close call at San Francisco airport

Air Canada jet in close call at San Francisco airport

The FAA says four other aircraft were on the taxiway at the time of the incident, though it declines to specify how close the Air Canada A320 came to those aircraft.

On Friday night, something freaky and very almost catastrophic happened: an Air Canada flight, descending into San Francisco International Airport, tried to land on the taxiway instead of on the runway, where four other fully loaded planes Saturday. The taxiway runs parallel to the runway. The US media reported on Tuesday that an Air Canada plane had been close to landing on the wrong tarmac when an alert flight supervisor from Air Traffic Control hailed the pilot and managed to prevent what could have been a deadly four-way collision.

Meanwhile, an audio recording has emerged of what are said to be last Friday's communications between air traffic controllers and pilots at San Francisco's airport.

As jets approach to land at large airports they are guided to runways by electronic systems.

You then hear one of the other pilots on the taxiway, a United pilot, say, "United One, Air Canada just flew directly over us". "He's on the taxiway".

Peter Fitzpatrick, a spokesman for Air Canada, said that this flight had landed without incident after re-approach.

John Cox, an air safety investigator told CBC News there are electronic devices to help pilots line up with the runways for landing.

Air Canada says the flight eventually landed safely.

Former United Airlines captain Ross Aimer said landing on a busy taxiway could have resulted in the worst aviation disaster in history. "If you could imagine an Airbus colliding with four passenger aircraft wide bodies, full of fuel and passengers, then you can imagine how horrific this could have been".

In June, US President Donald Trump announced his ambition to upgrade air traffic control which relies on radar and radio technology.

One of the air traffic controllers replies that there are no other planes there. He added that the airline was investigating the circumstances.

Air Canada is investigating the incident and the FAA is also reportedly investigating the disatnce between the Air Canada flight and the aircraft lined up on the taxiway. He referred to it as an "ancient, broken, antiquated, terrible system that doesn't work".

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