Near-miss at Vietnam airport

HANOI – An air traffic controller's licence was revoked after two airplanes nearly collided on a runway in central Vietnam, an official said Monday.

The incident occurred June 27 when Truong Ngo Quang, chief air traffic controller at Da Nang city airport, left a trainee to supervise the runway, according to a press release posted on the website of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam.

Trainee Truong Nguyen Quynh Anh ordered a Jetstar Pacific plane to take off from a runway where a Vietnam Airlines aircraft had just landed. The two planes were 350 metres apart when the mistake was spotted.

"This is an incident which seriously threatened aviation safety," theCAAV said on its website. "If it had not been seen in time, it would have led to an accident."

Director of the CAAV, Lai Xan Thanh, confirmed the case, adding weather conditions and other factors such as visibility were normal at the time.

Quang's licence was removed on Friday. The trainee will have to undergo at least one additional year of training before she can be granted her licence, the CAAV said.

The director of the Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation will also be suspended for 15 days pending an investigation into the incident.

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