Canada’s airport runways aren’t as long as they need to be (and the feds’ plans won’t fix them)
The 297 passengers and 12 crew members were at the end of their eight hour trip from Paris to Toronto’s Pearson Airport on Aug. 2, 2005 when the landing went wrong.
In heavy rain, Air France’s Airbus 340 landed too far down the 9,000-foot runway, skidded and then all 185-tonnes of aircraft shot off the end at almost 150 kilometres an hour.
Miraculously, when the plane crashed into a ravine and caught fire, no one was killed, but 10 passengers and two crew members were seriously injured.
Twelve years later, 10 years after a Transportation Safety Board (TSB) investigationcalled for runways to have longer end-safety areas, Transport Canada, which actually sets the rules for airports, is only now consulting on possible extensions.
There have been at least 16 other runway-overrun accidents in that time.
Despite the board’s suggestions, Transport Canada is also only calling for a 150-metre safety area — half of what the accident report called for and below international recommendations.