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Mid-air collision of Indigo flights averted: DGCA to probe, assures strict action

Posted January 19th, 2022, 12:59 PM IST

Mid-air collision of Indigo flights averted: DGCA to probe, assures strict action

The issue of Indigo's two domestic flights narrowly escaping mid-air collision will be investigated by the aviation watchdog Director General of Civil Aviation.

The incident of a serious safety breach was reported to India's aviation regulator DGCA and a team under DGCA Director General Arun Kumar was constituted for a thorough investigation.

"We are investigating and shall take the strictest action against those found delinquent," Kumar told ANI.

Indigo Airlines declined to comment on the incident.

According to officials, a close shave of two Indigo flights from Bangalore to Kolkata and the other from Bhubaneswar shows negligence and miscommunications between radar operators and ATC officials, because two aircraft can't operate on the same air path.

"On Jan 7, 2022, two IndiGo flights 6E 455 (Bengaluru - Kolkata) and 6E 246 (Bengaluru - Bhubaneswar) were involved in breach of separation at Bangalore airport," DGCA official told ANI.

"Both runways were in use, the official on shift decided for single Runway operations i.e. North Runway for arrival and departure, South Runway will be closed but it was not communicated to South tower controller. South tower controller gave departure to 6E 455 Kolkata bound aircraft and at the same time North tower controller gave departure to 6E 246 Bhubaneswar bound aircraft without coordination," DGCA official further said.

A prima facie report stated that "the incident occurred due to a lack of communication between radar controllers and ATC officers at the time of the incident," according to investigators.

The Indigo flights of Airbus had hundreds of passengers on board.

The report suggested that the two planes took off for their designated destinations and had an instant face-off in mid-air at an altitude of over 3000 feet in the skies over Bengaluru.