The Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department released a preliminary investigation report into the serious incident involving an Airbus A340 that attempted to take off from a taxiway.
The serious incident occurred on November 27, 2010. The incident flight involved a Finnair Airbus A340-313X which operated on flight AY070 from Hong Kong-Chek Lap Kok International Airport (HKG/VHHH) to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (HEL/EFHK).
The incident occurred at night time and in good visibility conditions. Flight 070 was cleared by ATC to taxi on taxiway B westbound for departure on runway 07L. When the aircraft was approaching the western end of taxiway B, ATC cleared the aircraft for take-off on runway 07L. The aircraft took the normal right turn at the end of taxiway B towards runway 07L but then took a premature right turn onto taxiway A, a taxiway parallel to and in between the runway-in-use and taxiway B. With the help of the Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (A-SMGCS) provided in the Control Tower, ATC observed that the aircraft commenced take-off roll on taxiway A. On detecting the anomaly, ATC immediately instructed the pilot to stop rolling and the aircraft was stopped abeam Taxiway A5, approximately 1400 metres from the beginning (western end) of taxiway A.
Whilst the investigation is still in progress, the Investigation Team considered it prudent to institute a temporary ATC procedure to minimize the possibility of recurrence. In this connection, Hong Kong ATC, as an extra precautionary safeguard, issued an Operational Instruction on 29 November 2010, which required that during runway 07L operations, the Air Movements Controller shall withhold the take-off clearance until ascertaining that the aircraft has completely crossed taxiway A.