There was a near collision at the city airport on Monday because of a mix-up between two arriving flights, one departing aircraft and the Air Traffic Control (ATC), which could have been fatal for hundreds of passengers.
The muddle involving two Kingfisher flights and a GoAir flight took place in the afternoon. Around 1.36 pm, a Kingfisher flight with 30 passengers to Bhavnagar started to take off but aborted it and stopped a mere 100 metres away from a GoAir flight that had landed on the same runway minutes ago.
“After landing, the GoAir flight missed the first taxiway available. As a result, it took longer to vacate the runway, by which time the Kingfisher flight had got clearance. So we aborted the take-off,” said an ATC official, requesting anonymity.
The Kingfisher flight was moving slowly when it received the ATC’s instruction and so it was able to abort take-off. Both planes had barely vacated the runway when another Kingfisher flight got ATC clearance and landed on the same runway, at 1.38 pm.
A Kingfisher spokesperson confirmed the aborted take-off. “The flight finally left at 2.50 pm,” he said. GoAir refused to comment on the issue.
Despite repeated attempts, Nasim Zaidi, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief was not available for comment.