Top civil aviation officials went into a huddle on Thursday after Hindustan Times reported that two domestic flights, one bound to and the other departing from Delhi airport, came too close to each other.
Officials from the Airports Authority of India and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) met on Thursday to discuss the ‘air miss’ and devise ways to prevent such incidents in future.
On April 5, a Hyderabad bound Air India flight (IC 941) and a Kingfisher flight (KFR-3345) from Delhi to Bhubaneshwar had come within 700 feet of each other. A Civil Aviation Ministry statement said the Air India and Kingfisher flights were approximately 35 miles south of Delhi when the incident occurred.
Air India, however, denied the incident.
Though the Delhi ATC should have noted that the aircraft were too close to each other, remedial action was taken after a conflict alert was generated in the Controller’s display. The controllers then sent the two aircraft at different levels.
“Even though there was a breach of separation while executing the manoeuvres, there was no risk of collision,” the statement said. “The ATC involved have been derostered while investigations are on,” it said.
“There seems to have been a coordination or communication failure that led to the incident. The ATC might have been under stress,” a senior official said.
“Ideally, one runway should be used for landing and another for take-offs, which would prevent such incidents,” he said. “However, that will lead to congestion as domestic flights landing at the new runway 29 have to taxi a long way to the domestic terminal,” he said.