Tuesday, August 24, 2021

AirAsia, IndiGo flights came as close as 8km, reveals report on January near-miss incident

The final investigation report into the January 29 near-miss involving an AirAsia India flight and an IndiGo flight over Mumbai airspace found that the two aircraft came within 8km of each other with 300ft vertical separation between them.

The AirAsia India flight was headed Ahmedabad to Chennai, while the IndiGo flight was flying from Bengaluru to Vadodara. The incident occurred over Vapi.

The report by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau noted the restricted manpower at the Mumbai air traffic control, due to the ongoing pandemic.

To fly from Ahmedabad to Chennai, aircraft typically overfly Bhavnagar, but the AirAsia flight in question followed a route that is normally taken by aircraft preparing to land in Mumbai, the report highlighted.

Also, the IndiGo aircraft coming in from the south was allowed to head directly to a point that lies over Ankleshwar, near Bharuch. Due to these changes in routing both aircraft were now flying towards each other, albeit at different altitudes.

The automated system at the Mumbai ATC issued a 'predicted conflict warning', which the radar controller failed to respond to.

By the time the controller responded to alert, the AirAsia aircraft at 38,008ft and the IndiGo aircraft at 38,000ft were closing in. The automated Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) in the AirAsia cockpit blared an aural command instructing the pilots to climb.

24/08/21 Economic Times

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