Toronto, Ontario, 30 July 2014 — In its investigation report (A13O0045) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) determined that a number of factors contributed to an unattended maintenance van crossing the active runway while an aircraft was landing at the Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport on 11 March 2013. There were no injuries.
A Sunwing Airlines aircraft maintenance technician was in a van parked near the nose of one of the company’s aircraft. The technician exited the van to perform various duties outside the aircraft and then boarded it to check the cockpit. Meanwhile, the van had rolled to and crossed the active arrival runway as an aircraft prepared to land. Air traffic control noticed a ground radar target as the driverless van crossed the runway, and instructed the Air Canada Embraer 190 to pull up and go around. Despite two calls to go around, the Air Canada flight continued its approach, flew over the van at a height of approximately 35 feet and landed.
Following the occurrence, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) issued directives to the Toronto Pearson aviation community reiterating the prohibition against leaving vehicles idling and unsecured on the airside. The GTAA also published and disseminated information on the luminosity requirements for vehicle roof beacons and did spot checks to inspect beacons and require inoperative or inadequate beacons to be repaired or replaced. Sunwing Airlines reported to Transport Canada that it has inspected all of its airside vehicles and ensured that their roof beacons meet specified luminosity standards.