TEL AVIV (Mar. 1)
A Petach Tikva Magistrate today charged a woman air traffic control officer at Lydda Airport with negligence in a fatal accident which occurred on the main runway during the night of last Nov. 29-30. The magistrate held Sylvia Mayers, the duty officer in the control tower at the time, responsible for the collision of a TWA cargo plane with an Israeli military transport plane which took the lives of two ground crew employees. The judge found that Miss Mayers had cleared the TWA jet for takeoff while the military transport was being towed across the main runway by a tractor. An investigation that followed absolved the TWA pilot of responsibility for the crash. It also brought to the surface long standing charges of negligence, incompetence and lax procedures at Lydda Airport which were said to have been responsible for a series of near accidents over the airfield. Minister of Transport Shimon Peres promised a tightening up of procedures and a major program to provide Lydda with the latest navigational aids and safety devices.