Private plane lands on taxiway at Tucson International Airport

Private plane lands on taxiway at Tucson International Airport

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A private plane landed on the taxiway at Tucson International Airport on Friday morning, Nov. 3.

The Learjet 35 was cleared to land, but touched down on the taxiway adjacent to the assigned runway, according to FAA Pacific Division Public Affairs Manager Ian Gregor.

Nobody was hurt by the landing, according to Jessie Butler, Public Information Manager for Tucson Airport Authority. She stated details about the incident would need to come from the FAA.

A special report from Tucson News Now in August uncovered that runway incursions have been a concern for the FAA, the airport and pilots landing in Tucson. Our investigation found that wrong runway landings were an issue once considered to be fixed, but several recent incidents have the three groups working together on solutions again.

The pilot for the Nov. 3 runway incursion was cleared to land on Runway 11L, but wound up on the taxiway.

Pictures of the runways and adjacent taxiway show 29L, 29R, and a taxiway boldly labeled "TAXI."

Gregor explained that 11L is the same runway as 29R but from the opposite approach. He said FAA investigators will be speaking with the pilot. The Learjet in Friday's incident is larger than the three Cessnas involved in the previous wrong-runway landings.

"Any wrong-surface landing is a big concern, but part of the reason they can be so confounding is that there are thousands of pilots who land without a problem," Gregor said.

He said the FAA will not only investigate the incident but identify any contributing factors that could be part of a larger issue.

"When we investigate incidents like this, we take a big-picture holistic approach to make sure we look at every possible factor that could have played a role," Gregor said.

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