Two Qantas Boeing 737 jets involved in near-miss on runway at Sydney Airport

Qantas Boeing 737-800
Ryan Fletcher /

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has launched an investigation after two Qantas Boeing 737-800 jets were involved in a near-miss at Sydney Airport (SYD).  

According to the ATSB, the incident occurred on April 29, 2023, at 5:47pm local time, when registered aircraft VH-VZW was departing for Brisbane and registered aircraft VH-VZW was arriving from Queenstown. 

In the published preliminary report, the ATSB states that both Qantas planes were using runway 16L. 

After a preceding flight had left the runway, traffic control operators gave the Brisbane-bound flight clearance for take-off and there was a “close proximity event” with the Queenstown arrival on the approach. 

“The controller reportedly instructed the flight crew of VH-VZW to conduct a missed approach and then vectored the aircraft onto a diverging track,” the ATSB said. 

As part of the investigation, the ATSB will interview involved parties, examine radar, radio and flight data recordings, obtain relevant information from the operator and air traffic service provider, and collect other evidence as required. 

“A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation. Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties, so that appropriate safety action can be taken,” the Bureau added. 

A spokesperson for Qantas told The Australian that both crews were following guidance from air traffic control.  

Airservices Australia, a government-owned organization responsible for the safety of 11% of the world’s airspace, is understood to be looking into the controller’s instructions.  

The ATSB expects to complete the investigation by the third quarter of 2023. 

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