A major catastrophe was averted at Dublin Airport last year when a German charter flight almost collided with a Turkish plane on the runway.

The two aircraft were carrying a total of 235 passengers and crew between them when they were involved in the near miss in October 2010.

Results of an investigation carried out by Ireland’s Air Accident authority have just been published and describe the near collision as a "serious incident."

The report states that the Germanwings Airbus, with 125 passengers and five crew aboard, was about to touch down when the pilot spotted another aircraft on the runway.


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A Turkish Airlines jet, with 99 passengers and six crew on board, had failed to comply with air traffic control instructions. The investigation team concluded that the plane had entered an active runway without permission.

The two aircraft came within just 144 feet of each other. The German pilot initiated a "go around" procedure and climbed to just 3,000 feet from the ground and subsequently landed safely.

Investigators reported that on its final approach to Dublin Airport, the German plane’s pilot told air traffic control: “We’re going around, there’s a plane entering the runway.”

The Turkish flight had been cleared to taxi in preparation for take-off, and to hold short of the active runway.

The Turkish pilot told investigators he was distracted by "heads-in" tasks in the cockpit. He also said he "did not see or correctly interpret signage for the holding position" according to the report.

The Irish Aviation Authority has since advised Turkish Airlines to amend its procedures and instruct pilots to maintain an external lookout at all times during taxiing.

They have also advised that crew conduct a "verbal cross-check when about to enter a runway."