On Wednesday and Thursday, the Delhi airport could have been mistaken for Delhi roads. On these two days, around 300 passengers narrowly escaped serious mishaps.
On Wednesday, a mishap was averted at the Delhi Airport, after a Jet Airways aircraft — with nearly 150 passengers on board — had to abort landing at the last moment because another aircraft was present on the runway.
The incident happened around 9pm, when the Jet Airways flight from Mumbai (9W 309) was descending to land on the runway of the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport. The airport at that moment was witnessing heavy congestion due to bad weather conditions caused by strong wind movement.
As the aircraft was preparing to land, the pilot found movement on the runway and informed the Delhi Air Traffic Control (ATC). The ‘movement’ was another aircraft, of an international airline, which was supposed to take off from the runway but couldn’t do so because of strong winds. It was trying to vacate the runway.
With the runway not clear, the ATC asked the Jet pilot to abort landing and make a 'go-around'. The aircraft climbed up again and landed later after hovering for some time.
"The Jet Airways flight from Mumbai did a go-around at the IGI Airport last night as per the advice of the ATC, following aircraft movement on the runway," said a Jet Airways spokesperson. "The timely action taken by both the ATC and the pilot saved the day, otherwise a major mishap could have happened," said a source at the airport.
Officials at the Delhi ATC said that the problem occurred due to very strong wind movement on Wednesday evening that heavily disrupted air traffic movement. "Wind was blowing at 30-40 knots. None of the aircraft were able to fly on track," said a senior ATC official who didn’t wish to be identified.
Emirates flight aborts landing
Meanwhile, an Emirates flight carrying 153 passengers could not land at the IGI airport due to unstable wind, which resulted in air pressure on Thursday. Flight EK516, from Dubai, was scheduled to land at 2.40 pm.
"It encountered unstable winds on its approach. The pilot of the aircraft decided to go around in the interest of safety. The aircraft landed at 3.25pm after a delay of 45 minutes," said an Emirates spokesperson.