In a major lapse, an Air India (AI) passenger flight cleared for landing at Delhi airport’s runway 11/29 took the wrong approach and proceeded instead to runway 09/27. This created panic among air traffic controllers (ATCs) as another aircraft was in the vicinity.
While the aircraft did a go-around at the last minute, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has taken a serious view — it grounded the two pilots and off-rostered the ATCs on duty.
“The ATC logbooks have been sealed. A probe has been ordered. This was a very serious incident. Such lapses are unheard of,” said a senior DGCA official. “What is even more surprising is that the flight’s captain was himself an examiner (one of the highest levels for pilots),” said another official.
The incident took place on January 30. As AI’s Hyderabad-Delhi flight was approaching Delhi, the ATC asked it follow the instrument landing system of runway 11/29. The aircraft, instead, started descending towards runway 9/27.
Air India did not offer comments for the story.