The pilot and co-pilot of a TransAsia Airways plane will be severely disciplined for failing to follow the instructions of air controllers and entering a runway without permission, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said Tuesday.
The CAA said it will discipline the pilot and co-pilot of the plane for their negligence in early October.
According to the Civil Aviation Act, they could be suspended for between one and three months and fined between NT$60,000 (US$1,846) and NT$300,000.
The incident took place on Sep. 4, when their TransAsia flight GE2322 was preparing to leave for Taipei from the outlying island of Kinmen at around 10:19 a.m.
With a UNI Air flight five nautical miles away and ready to land at Kinmen airport, air controllers asked the TransAsia ATR72-500 plane to wait on the airport's taxiway.
The co-pilot of the TransAsia Airways flight correctly repeated the request, according to the cockpit voice recorder, but then noted "06 runway" in his notebook.
After another TransAsia Airways flight landed in Kinmen, the pilot asked the co-pilot, "Should we wait on the taxiway?"
The co-pilot answered, "No. We can enter the runway." The pilot then asked the co-pilot if he was sure and received an affirmative response.
The plane then taxied onto the runway. Air controllers spotted the mistake and alerted the UNI Air flight, which was just two and a half minutes away, to abort landing procedures and circle the airport.
It eventually landed at 10:37 a.m., about 20 minutes late.
The TransAsia Airways flight had four crew members and only three passengers aboard. There were 75 people on the UNI Air flight.
TransAsia Airways said both the pilot and co-pilot of the plane were suspended from their duties after the incident.
The carrier said it was also not ruling out the possibility of "firing" the two pilots to demonstrate to enforce "zero tolerance for flight safety negligence."
TransAsia Airways' reputation has been badly damaged over the past 14 months by fatal accidents.
A TransAsia Airways ATR72-500 crashed in outlying Penghu Country in July 2014 after an aborted landing failed, a disaster that left 48 people dead and 10 others injured.
Then, on Feb. 4, 2015, an ATR72-600 crashed into the Keelung River shortly after it took off from Songshan Airport, killing 43 of the 58 people on board.
The airline's bookings have suffered as a result of its problems. Even in the peak travel month of July, load factors on both its domestic and international routes rarely exceeded 50 percent, according to the CAA.
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