According to the below article in Greek, a Thomson 737 landed on the taxiway at Paphos airport this afternoon.
21 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011, 20:16 EEST SigmaLive Παρολίγον τραγωδία θα συνέβαινε στο αεροδρόμιο Πάφου, όταν στις 4.30 το απογευμα, μποϊνγκ 737, της εταιρίας Τόμσον, με 192 επιβάτες και 7μελες πλήρωμα, αντί να προσγειωθεί στο δίαυλο του αεροδρομίου Πάφου, προσγειώθηκε στο διάδρομο τροχοδρόμησης, το γνωστό taxi-way, τον οποίο χρησιμοποιούν τα αεροσκάφη για να προσεγγίσουν το δίαυλο ή για να απομακρυνθούν από αυτόν.
Το λάθος αποδίδεται στον πιλότο του αεροσκάφους της ξένης αεροπορικής εταιρίας ενώ το ευτύχημα είναι ότι εκείνη τη στιγμή δεν υπήρχε κανένα αεροσκάφος στο διάδρομο τροχοδρόμησης.
Σε κίνδυνο τεθήκαν και οι ζωές των 199 επιβαινόντων του αεροσκάφους, αφού ο διάδρομος τροχοδρόμησης δεν διαθέτει καμιά υποδομή για προσγείωση. Ούτε καν σήμανση.
Λόγω της σοβαρότητας του περιστατικού άρχισαν αμέσως έρευνες, με τον πιλότο να παραδέχεται το λάθος του. Μάλιστα συμφωνά με πληροφορίες του Σιγμα, όταν ρωτήθηκε πως έκανε ένα τόσο τραγικό λάθος, απάντησε: «Δεν ξερώ, τι να σας πω».
Ο εκπρόσωπος τύπου των αεροδρομίων, Αδάμος Ασπρής, είπε επί λέξη οτι πρόκειται για μια εξέλιξη που ουδείς ανέμενε. Πρόκειται για ιδιαιτέρα σοβαρό περιστατικό και για το λογο αυτό οι αρμόδιες Αρχές θα το διερευνήσουν σε βάθος και με πολλή προσοχή.
Near-tragedy would happen in Paphos airport, when at 4.30 in the afternoon, Boeing 737, the company Thompson, with 192 passengers and 7-member crew, landed instead on the bus for the airport of Paphos, landed on runway taxiing, the famous taxi-way, which use the aircraft to reach the bus or to evacuate him. The error was attributed to pilot the aircraft of foreign airline while it is fortunate that at that moment there was no aircraft taxiing on the runway. At stake were the lives of 199 persons on board the aircraft as the runway taxiing lacks any infrastructure for landing. Not even marking. Given the seriousness of the incident immediately began investigations by the pilot to admit his mistake. Indeed, according to information from the Sigma, when asked how he made such a tragic mistake, he replied: "I do not know what to say."
A spokesman for the airport, Adamos White, said verbatim that this is a trend that no one expected. This is a particularly serious incident and therefore the competent authorities will investigate thoroughly and very carefully
Paphos airport is a tricky one: long and narrow runway, parallel to a taxiway which is about the same width and length. Easy to confuse. No disaster, because it is intended as a military emergency strip. Unless there is taxiing traffic of course...
They were using 29 earlier today at PFO. Pretty hazy day, no real clouds. Runway not into sun at that time, ILS guidance on 29 etc... I doubt they accepted 11 with the wind at Pafos today. TWY B (parallel) has been used in the past for arrivals and departures, however.
From the airport website...
18:00 DONCASTER TOM3351 Delayed - New Time 01:30 *
If Rwy 11 was in use, the VORDME straight in approach to Rwy 11 in Paphos, brings the aircraft slightly offset, aligning the aircraft with the parallel taxiway, which is on the left, from the platform height down to the MDA. Usually during daylight, only PAPIs are on. Disconnecting the automatics and you have to turn slightly to the right to align with the runway.
Even so, although hazy, September Cyprus conditions usually you can see the airport from TOBAL. The only clouds there today were over Troodos. BTW the RWY QDM for 11 is 107, the app crs RWY 11 is also 107...
Correctly said, however operating in & out of PFO for many years, LNAV and VORLOC for 11, on the 738 does bring the aircraft slightly offset.. And pilots do accept a light TW for a straight in when controllers offer it...
I am aware of that Vanios, and the tailwind issues. Pretty windy today though, and a Wednesday - the airports busiest day (Sundays also as I'm sure you know, assuming you're ex Helios or ECA) Just fortunate no mil helos or other ac using TWY B.
I now have it on good authority that it was indeed RWY 29 in use during the incident. Another crew was flown in to operate out.
Also, having been there recently, the taxiway is longer than the runway, the same width (as previously mentioned, it's intended to be used as a runway), and quite a lot brighter as it's not covered in rubber. It's contrast in most lighting conditions makes it more obvious than the main landing runway, especially during a circling approach. Also, last thing promise!, the landing runway is closer to the passenger terminal than the taxiway, in most places the parallel taxiway (or emerg runway) are closer to the civilian apron (logical airport layout). It all adds up to a potential trap in developing a mental model of what you're looking at. As we all know, it's hard to change that model even when presented with evidence to the contrary at a late stage, such as runway markings, approach lights, PAPI's etc.. All good briefing points when having your chat before TOD.