Differences between the Mumbai air traffic control (ATC) and the airport operator, Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) surfaced again on Monday when ATC officials alleged that fire tenders at the city airport were slow in reacting to a call in an Air India flight.
The ATC officials said the pilot of flight IC 864 from Mumbai to Delhi reported a suspected fire soon after a tow tractor pushed it back for take-off at 10:28 am.
ATC officials, following the procedure, tried contacting the fire department using the radio device but claimed that the fire department officials failed to respond to the radio calls thus wasting precious time. “Assistance came only after we called them on the hotline,” said MG Jhunghare, general manager, ATC.
MIAL denied the charge. An MIAL spokesperson said the fire tenders attended to the flight immediately after getting the call from the ATC.
“On inspection the rescue team did not find any visible sign of fire or smoke. Subsequently, the fire watch tower sent a message that no assistance is required and the flight took off and was airborne by 10:47 am,” the spokesperson said.
The aviation regulator has recorded the incident as a case of rejected take-off because of some technical fault.
“We have not found any safety lapse in the incident,” said a senior official with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to talk to the media.
This is the second time in four months that the airport operator and the ATC have given contradicting reports on an incident.