The directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) has suspended an air traffic controller and two pilots of Air India, who were operating a Boeing that hit a light pole at the Mumbai airport.
Although the collision, that took place early on Tuesday, did not hurt anyone or cause any serious damage to the Boeing 777-300ER, the aviation safety regulator took serious note of the matter as the Newark-bound plane had 447 people on board.
According to airport sources, pilots accused the air traffic control (ATC) official on duty of assigning a smaller taxiway which caused the collision. There are designated taxiways for single-aisle and twin-aisle planes. While narrow body type aircraft are assigned Taxiway Y, Taxiway H is reserved for the big birds.
But the regulator said the pilots operating a jumbo should be versed with the right taxiing lanes.
“Even if the ATC assigns a wrong taxiway, a seasoned pilot should stop the aircraft if he or she feels that taxi clearance is not available,” a senior DGCA official requesting anonymity said.
An AI spokesperson confirmed the incident.
The incident delayed the flight by about two and a half hours, airport officials added.