Aeromexico 737 nearly lands on wrong San Francisco runway

Pilots of an Aeromexico Boeing 737-800 lined up to land on the wrong runway at San Francisco International airport on 9 January before executing a go-around procedure, the third safety-related landing incident at San Francisco in about six months.

A Virgin America A320 family aircraft was on Runway 28L awaiting takeoff at the time of the incident, the Federal Aviation Administration confirms.

Air traffic controllers cleared Aeromexico flight 668 from Mexico City to land on San Francisco’s Runway 28R, and the pilot of the aircraft acknowledged the instruction, according to the FAA, which is investigating.

“When the plane was about a mile from the airport, air traffic controllers noticed the aircraft was lined up for Runway 28L and instructed the crew to execute a missed approach,” says the FAA.

The incident happened at about 11:45, says the FAA.

Neither Aeromexico nor Virgin America responded immediately to requests for comment.

On 7 July 2017, an Air Canada Airbus A320 operating a flight from Toronto nearly landed on a taxiway at San Francisco. That aircraft descended to 59ft above the taxiway, which was occupied by four aircraft, the NTSB has said.

Then on 24 October 2017, another Air Canada A320 failed to heed go-around orders from air traffic controllers prior to landing at San Francisco.

Controllers tried to hail the aircraft multiple times and used a light gun to wave off the aircraft, but the Air Canada pilots continued the approach and landed safely on Runway 28R, the FAA said.