Friday, January 28, 2022

DGCA team probes mid-air scare at KIA

Bengaluru: A Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) team has commenced probe into the mid-air collision scare involving two IndiGo flights that were allowed to take off at the same time and in the same direction from Kempegowda International Airport’s parallel runways on January 7. Senior officers connected to the Air Traffic Control (ATC) were questioned as part of the investigation. Local authorities had allegedly tried to hush up the incident by not reporting it to DGCA, possibly to avoid a probe and punishment.

Over 380 flyers onboard the two aircraft had a miraculous escape after a radar controller noticed the potentially grave error and at the nick of time, instructed the two pilots to diverge. TOI was the first to report the incident, which resulted in DGCA initiating action against those at fault.

On January 21, exactly two weeks after the mid-air scare, a DGCA team from Delhi arrived at Bengaluru airport and carried out investigation into the incident. According to DGCA sources, the team quizzed the ATC, including the ones on duty on the morning of the incident, and notably the version of the senior-most officer in the ATC tower at the time was recorded. The investigators returned to Delhi the next day and is expected to submit a report on the incident in mid-February, said sources.

Meanwhile, the Air Traffic Management at Bengaluru airport is said to be conducting an internal probe to ascertain who was at fault for the incident and under whose guidance the matter was covered up, possibly to save officials posted at KIA.

Further, a team from the Aviation Investigation Bureau of the ministry of civil aviation also visited Bengaluru airport this week and collected evidence related to the incident. 

28/01/22 Petlee Peter/Times of India

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