In the news:
My headline is more correct — it was multiple runways that they drove on.
How does that even happen? It started with arriving on a private jet. That’s not something I do, so when I rent a car from the massive rental car center at some airport, I’m very unlikely to get off of the main roads.
But the father and son basically started on a tarmac where they rented their car.
“Instead of leaving the airport, they turned the wrong direction and drove on multiple runways.”
They were not punished by the law. I bet it’s happened before and it will probably happen again.
Why could they make a wrong turn? We should ask about systemic design factors.
Was the signage unclear? Were they not given crystal-clear directions? Should drivers be personally escorted off of the tarmac?
The company got punished… and it sounds like worker(s) face the blame.
“But several workers are being investigated for not following protocols and “Go Rental” the car rental company, had their permit revoked.”
Is that an overreaction to revoke their permit? If employees aren’t following protocols, that’s also a systemic issue to me. Were they not trained well? Were they not supervised properly?
It looks like there are two Go Rentals locations inside the Palm Beach Airport. And we can see the one that’s right next to Atlantic Aviation:
It’s unclear from the Google Map how a car would even get from the car parking lot and Perimeter Rd. onto the runway, unless the rental car company brings the car to the plane…
That’s exactly it. This article says the car met them at the plane on the tarmac. That might be the “violation of protocol” that occurred.
“I could see how this could happen very easily,” said aviation expert John Nance.
I’ve met Nance through my work in patient safety and healthcare improvement. He said it’s very common to bring vehicles to the plane.
The airport blamed the rental car agency for not escorting the car off of the property.
It seems like preventing a repeat of mistake would require a re-evaluation of protocols and other measures that literally make it impossible to drive on a runway… instead of just telling everybody involved to be more careful.
Atlantic Aviation was also punished:
“Atlantic Aviation is also facing discipline as the airport suspended the security clearances of all employees who were involved in the incident.
The airport is also requiring all Atlantic Aviation employees to undergo safety training.”
I’m always skeptical when “training” or “re-training” is the countermeasure. Why wasn’t the training done proactively? And if it was, why was the training not fully effective?
I guess other companies (and other locations of Go Rentals) need to learn from this mistake.
Aviation has a tradition of “non-punitive mandatory reporting” of incidents. I have to wonder if this same “wrong turn onto a runway” mistake had happened before without being noticed. If that had happened and the lessons had been learned from that, neither of these companies would be in this situation in a publicly-embarrassing way.