In the wake of a tragic collision, Tokyo’s Haneda airport has resumed normal operations, reopening the runway a week after the incident.
What Happened: A collision occurred between a Japan Airlines Co Ltd JAPSY airliner and a Coast Guard aircraft, causing a temporary halt to runway operations for probes and reparations, according to a report by ABC News.
The accident involved JAL Flight 516, with 379 onboard, landing on the same runway as the Coast Guard aircraft. While everyone on the airliner evacuated safely, the Coast Guard’s Bombardier Dash-8 captain suffered burns, and his five crew members perished.
Despite reopening three runways immediately after the crash, one runway remained closed for investigation, cleanup, and repairs. The transport ministry confirmed the runway’s reopening early Monday, allowing the airport to fully function.
The mishap prompted the cancellation of over 1,200 flights, impacting around 200,000 passengers during the New Year holiday period. Except for 22 JAL flights canceled through Tuesday, all scheduled flights have resumed.
Why It Matters: The collision between the Japan Airlines flight and the Coast Guard aircraft, which was on its way to Niigata for earthquake relief, resulted in the loss of five lives. This incident led to an estimated loss of more than $100 million for Japan Airlines.
The ongoing investigation is examining why the Coast Guard flight crew believed they had clearance to take off despite the traffic control transcript showing no clear confirmation. As a result, Haneda Airport traffic control has implemented a new position to monitor the runway for enhanced safety measures.
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