Nearly 150 passengers of a Mumbai-Delhi flight had a close shave at the Delhi airport on Monday after the aircraft had to abort landing at the last moment because another aircraft was present on the runway.
The incident occurred around 11pm on Monday when a private full cost operator’s flight from Mumbai was preparing to land at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
The pilot found that another aircraft was present on the runway and the air traffic control asked the pilot to abort landing and make a ‘go around’. The aircraft finally landed in its second attempt after nearly half-an-hour.
“It seemed that the aircraft would have a near collision as it was descending but suddenly climbed up again,” said a passenger on the flight who didn’t wish to be named.
“We were told later that another plane was on the runway when our flight was about to land,” he said. This is the third such incident at the Delhi airport in the last fortnight.
On May 18, a Jet Airways flight from Mumbai (9W 309) was descending to land at the runway when it found another aircraft already present on the runway. The aircraft aborted landing at the last moment and had to make a go around, delaying the flight by 45 minutes. The next day, an international flight had to abort landing due to the same reason.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI), which handles air traffic movement at the Delhi airport, tried to downplay the incident. “Go around is a standard operating procedure (SOP) in order to maintain safety,” said an AAI spokesperson.