KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — Berjaya tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan today blamed airport authorities after a man died in a runway collision involving his company jet at the Subang airport.
The Berjaya Group executive chairman said he was setting the record straight with regards to the death of Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad (MAHB) employee Mohd Ruzaimi Iskandar Ahmad Razali, 39, who died from injuries sustained when a descending airplane crashed into his vehicle on the tarmac at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, which is run by MAHB, last Monday.
Tan confirmed that it was a Berjaya Air plane that was involved in the incident, but stressed that the attacks against the airline, its crew and him have been unfounded and “incorrect.”
“As far as I am concerned, Berjaya Air and our pilots are completely not at fault in this whole matter. The pilots followed all the proper operating flight and landing procedures. They obtained the necessary clearance from the Subang tower before they landed the aircraft.
“In fact, had the obstruction on the runway not been a small maintenance vehicle but a truck or other heavy equipment it could have resulted in a major disaster. The entire aircraft, crew and passengers could have perished in the accident,” the tycoon said.
He said the airport authorities were at fault, and should have given adequate warning to the inbound plane that maintenance works were being carried out on the runway.
“No such warning was given and in my view the airport authority was negligent,” he said.
Tan also announced that he would be making a personal donation of RM50,000 to the late Mohd Ruzaimi’s widow.
In a separate statement, Berjaya Air said that the its flight had been carried out in accordance with an approved flight plan which was submitted to the Air Traffic Control Centre (ATC) prior to its scheduled arrival at Subang Airport.
“No NOTAMs (Notice to Airmen) was issued to advise that maintenance work (work in progress) was being carried out on the runway at Subang Airport.
“Landing clearance was requested by the pilot and the Tower at Subang Airport gave the clearance to land. There were no beacons or warning lights to alert the crew that there was the presence of maintenance workers or other obstructions on the runway,” the airline said.
It pointed out that its aircraft had already touched down and was decelerating when it collided with the maintenance vehicle, with Mohd Ruzaimi still inside.
“We hope that the public will refrain from further speculating on this very unfortunate incident and allow the relevant authorities to complete their investigation,” it added.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke has said that investigations into the death of the MAHB employee is expected to be completed in 30 days.