TOKYO - A RUNWAY at one of Japan's international airports was closed temporarily on Thursday after a passenger plane scraped its tail on the ground while landing near the western city of Osaka, officials said.
No one was injured in the incident involving the Boeing 737-800 operated by Japan Airlines at Kansai International Airport and the runway was reopened after about an hour and a half, an airport official said.
JAL said the plane's tailskid, which is designed to protect the body from scraping the ground, was slightly damaged.
'After the landing, our mechanics spotted scratches on the part of tail which is similar to a car bumper,' said JAL spokesman Soichi Yatsugi.
'The plane was sent for a comprehensive check-up,' he said.
JAL, Asia's largest airline, was hit hard by a spate of highly publicised safety scares in recent years, and is now in the midst of restructuring including thousands of job cuts.
The airline said the latest incident had not posed any danger as the tailskid is designed to scrape the ground to protect the main body.
Aviation experts said tail scraping was not considered a serious incident, but it does not happen very often.
'Normally this sort of incident happens when there's a strong headwind at the time of landing so that a pilot has to keep the plane's front up,' said Mr Yukihisa Jinno, editor of airline industry magazine Koku Fan.
Japan's transportation ministry is collecting information to decide whether the ministry should launch an official investigation, an official said. -- AFP