June 19, 2009

Plane, truck nearly collide in Boston

Authorities said a construction vehicle at Boston's Logan International Airport wandered into an unauthorized area and was nearly hit by a plane on a runway.

Phil Orlandella, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates the airport, said the construction vehicle, a Ford Explorer, came dangerously close to the wing of a plane that was traveling down a runway after being cleared for takeoff at about 6:36 a.m. Thursday, the Boston Globe reported Friday.

Airport officials said the Explorer was traveling on a taxiway and apparently failed to stop at the runway intersection and radio for permission to cross.

It was a serious thing, a matter of seconds,'' Orlandella said. It was an actual near miss.''

The Port Authority said construction at the airport has been suspended while the incident is being investigated.

"Until we know the factors that contributed to this event, whether it was the failure of an individual or there was a failure in the system, and (have) implemented measures to minimize further the potential for such events, construction on the airfield will be suspended,'' it said in a statement.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it is investigating the near miss, which is classified as the most serious type of runway incident that does not involve a collision.