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Gov't may punish delinquent airport controller.

TOKYO, Dec. 20 Kyodo

The transport ministry may punish personnel involved in an incident at Takamatsu airport in Kagawa Prefecture in which an airplane was unable to communicate with the control tower prior to landing due to the absence of a controller, ministry officials said Thursday.

A Japan Airlines Co. plane could not reach the control tower for about 10 minutes around 6:30 p.m. Monday and was forced to stay longer in the air before landing at the airport. It subsequently delayed the landing of an All Nippon Airways Co. aircraft, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

It is required that at least two controllers work in a control room under the ministry regulations. But one controller in his 60s was in another room for about 50 minutes, according to the ministry's investigation.

Another controller in his 40s mishandled the speaker volume at the control tower, the ministry said.

It is inappropriate that the air controller stayed away from his position for such a long time at a time of day when regular air traffic volume is typically high, the ministry said.
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Publication:Japan Transportation Scan
Date:Dec 24, 2012
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