Social media video of near plane crash at OR Tambo a ruse

The Air Traffic and Navigation Services SOC Ltd (ATNS) on Sunday, 25 February 2024, expressed concern about a flight radar video showing two aircraft that are misrepresented as almost colliding on a runway at the OR Tambo International Airport in Gauteng. 

The manipulated video showing what is known in aviation as a runway incursion was widely shared on social media over the weekend. The footage sparked a public outcry by showing a Lufthansa aircraft moving on the runway as if it was taking off when a South African Airways plane suddenly crossed its path at what seemed like close proximity on Friday evening. 

However, an assessment of the video circulated on social media has revealed that the footage has a time lapse of approximately five minutes having passed in just the 38 seconds of the recording. 

ATNS can confirm that there was no runway incursion or risk of any occurring as shown by the video on social media. There was no aircraft taking off at the time as claimed in the video caption. 

The pilots on both aircraft were informed and aware of the one taxing on the runaway for repositioning, and not take-off as claimed, while the other had right of way to cross their path. The manipulated footage is of an aircraft navigation process in an airport, which is an ordinary operational occurrence with no safety compromise. 

The motive of the social media distribution of the misleading video with malicious intent for both aviation companies and professionals responsible for aircraft, air traffic navigation and airport management is unknown. However, the distribution of such an alarming video is regrettable, a serious concern and senseless. 

ATNS remains committed to delivering safe, efficient and globally competitive air traffic navigation services and training products that are within the standards and regulations' framework as prescribed by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).