ermesinde calendar (7).jpg

Airport chief unaware of flight ‘near miss’

By Inês Lopes [email protected]

ANA Aeroportos director says he is unaware of an easyJet plane and another plane being involved in a ‘near miss’ at Faro Airport on Monday night, October 17.

As was reported by the Algarve Resident last week, some 200 passengers on board an easyJet flight from Faro to Gatwick narrowly avoided disaster as their pilot fought to halt the plane on takeoff after engine trouble, which was then followed by a near miss as an incoming plane swooped to avoid a collision with the troubled plane on the runway.

According to passenger Darren Underdown “an incoming plane narrowly missed ours by between 10 and 12 feet during the incident”.

Darren was apparently told by an easyJet employee that another plane was involved and that they “had been very lucky”.

However, Dr Rui Oliveira, Director of ANA Aeroportos, the entity that manages Faro Airport, told the Algarve Resident that he would have known if such an incident had occurred.

“We can confirm the technical problem on the easyJet plane, but I have no knowledge of another plane being involved at the time. There are no reports of such a case and I would have known of such an incident as described by your reader.”

Mr Buxcey, a passenger on the same plane, told the Algarve Resident this week that he had “no confirmation of a near miss with a plane landing”.

He said: “I was sat on the left side wing of the plane. All of a sudden I heard a loud pop coming from the left wing. Then almost suddenly hard braking and the plane swerving to the left and a rather bumpy ride. This was a frightening experience.”

Regarding passenger claims that the care received by the staff at the airport after the incident was “less than satisfactory”, Dr Rui Oliveira said it is the responsibility of the airline to provide customer care in these cases, not the airport staff. “ANA Aeroportos manages the airport buildings, it does not own planes,” he said.

The Algarve Resident contacted easyJet again about the incident but at the time of going to press on Wednesday they had made no comment.