Investigation into vehicle's incursion onto runway as Aer Lingus plane lands

By Patrick Flynn

An incident involving an Aer Lingus aircraft at an airport in the UK earlier this month is being probed by air accident investigators.

The incident occurred at Gatwick Airport near London on February 3, 2018, after the Aer Lingus flight had arrived from Lyon in France. There were 164 passengers on board.

All the circumstances of the incident have not yet emerged, but it is understood that the Aer Lingus flight had been cleared to land when a vehicle entered the active runway.

It is not known whether the vehicle entered the runway with or without clearance from controllers.

The UK’s Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) has launched a probe into what has been rated as a “serious incident”.

Air accident investigators in France and Ireland have also been informed the occurrence.

File photo of Gatwick Airport.

The French BEA reported the incident involved an “incursion of a vehicle on the runway during the landing roll-out”. A roll-out is when an aircraft is slowing on the runway after landing.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) of the Department of Transport here is also available to provide assistance to the UK’s AAIB which is heading up the probe.

An AAIU spokesman confirmed: “The AAIU has appointed an Accredited Representative to provide any assistance which the AAIB may request.”

An Aer Lingus spokesman confirmed the incident took place and that the airline is "co-operating fully with this investigation."

A spokesman for Gatwick Airport said they could not comment on the matter as there is an ongoing investigation.

"When this concludes we will be in a position to say more,” the spokesman added.

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