Tokyo’s Haneda Airport has returned to normal operations on Monday, January 8, after a near-catastrophic collision occurred six days prior, resulting in the closure of one runway.
The incident involved a Japan Airlines plane and a coast guard aircraft, leading to the tragic death of five people on the smaller plane.
The collision took place on January 2, prompting the closure of Runway C at Haneda Airport, one of its four runways.
The closure resulted in the cancellation of numerous flights, mainly domestic, at one of the world’s busiest airports.
All 379 passengers and crew on the Japan Airlines plane successfully evacuated the aircraft after it caught fire following the crash. However, five out of the six individuals on the coast guard aircraft lost their lives.
According to AFP, Haneda Airport’s spokeswoman confirmed that Runway C resumed operations on Monday, allowing the airport to return to normal activities. “Runway C resumed operation today (Monday)”, said the spokeswoman.
The reopening followed the removal of the charred remains of the two planes involved in the collision.
Investigations into the incident are ongoing, with Japanese authorities collaborating with counterparts from France, Britain, and Canada. A transcript of communications released by the transport ministry last week indicated that the coast guard plane received instructions to halt before the runway, while the JAL plane was cleared to land.
According to media reports, they suggested that the coast guard pilot, the sole survivor of the incident, believed he had clearance to move onto the runway, where his plane stood for approximately 40 seconds before the collision. Further details and insights are expected to emerge as investigations progress.