On Sunday 3 February 2019 an incident took place on the aerodrome movement area at Schiphol, in which two taxiing aircraft came closer together than intended. No collision occurred. LVNL is investigating the occurrence and has reported the occurrence to the Dutch Safety Board.
Supervision of ground vehicles
On an aerodrome, two different parties are responsible for supervising ground traffic. At Schiphol Airport specifically, LVNL oversees traffic in the movement area, including aircraft taxiing to or from runways and boarding gates, whilst the airport itself is responsible for ground vehicles and towage. In addition, the pilot naturally has the responsibility to correctly carry out instructions.
Description of occurrence
During the evening of February 3, an Airbus 320 Neo (aircraft 1) landed on runway 18C /36C (Zwanenburgbaan). It was dark, visibility was good, and there was no precipitation. After the landing, the pilot hailed ground control for a taxi route to the gate. Schiphol has predefined taxi routes. The aircraft was cleared to drive to the C pier via runway B and Q. This route meant that the aircraft would intersect with runway A around intersection A26.
At the same time, another Airbus 320 (aircraft 2) was taxiing from runway 18R/36L (Polderbaan) via runway Z and runway A to the H pier. Ground control anticipated that both aircrafts would reach position A26 at the same time. The pilot of aircraft 1 was instructed to give way, shortly before reaching runway Q, to aircraft 2 which would be arriving from the right-hand side of the intersection. The pilot confirmed this instruction. After that, ground control informed the pilot of aircraft 2 that they would be given way by the aircraft that would arrive from the left at the end of runway Z.
The pilot of aircraft 1 did not see the aircraft (aircraft 2) arriving from the right and did not slow down at A26. The pilot of aircraft 2 was surprised, since he had been told that aircraft 1 would give way to him. Aircraft 2 braked abruptly to prevent the two aircraft from hitting each other. A collision was avoided; after the occurrence, both aircrafts proceeded to their gate via their assigned route.
Results of the investigation
The occurrence was the consequence of aircraft 1 not giving way, although they had been instructed to do so by ground control. Because this situation involved an instruction that was incorrectly carried out, no further measures have been taken as a result of the safety investigation conducted by Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL).