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Transport Minister Vows to Enhance Aviation Safety After Plane Collision at Haneda Airport

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Tetsuo Saito

Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Tetsuo Saito expressed his intention to prevent the recurrence of accidents like the aircraft collision that occurred at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on Jan. 2.

“We’ll thoroughly ensure [such] a tragic accident never happens again and will restore public confidence in aviation as a public transportation service,” Saito said at a press conference following the Cabinet meeting on Friday morning.

The ministry announced emergency measures on Jan. 9, a week after the collision. The measures included the placement of personnel in the control towers of seven major airports across the nation, including Haneda, dedicated to constantly monitoring the runways using radar for accidental entries.

Additionally, the ministry hosted the first meeting of the accident countermeasures study committee consisting of experts on Jan. 19. Discussions are underway regarding improvements to both hardware and software aimed at preventing accidental runway incursions, with the aim of compiling countermeasures by this summer.

“Over the past month, I feel that airplane accidents [at the airport], such as clipping each other have become more frequent,” Saito added.

He said that, in addition to the discussions by the accident countermeasures study committee, the ministry will continue to examine the nature of aviation safety and security measures.