Wednesday, August 23, 2023

2 Vistara planes, 1 runway: How alert woman pilot averted crisis at Delhi airport

A woman pilot's timely intervention helped avert a major incident at the Delhi airport on Wednesday after two Vistara planes were given clearance to use the same runway. As one Vistara aircraft - which had already landed - was allowed to use an active runway, another was given the go-ahead to take off from the same runway, sources said. A probe has been ordered into the incident while the air traffic controller has been de-rostered.

According to sources, a Vistara A320 aircraft from Ahmedabad to Delhi landed on Runway 29L a little before 8:30 am on Wednesday, and was instructed by a tower controller to cross another runway, Runway 29R. At the same time, a Delhi-Bagdogra flight was cleared for take-off from Runway 29R.

While the Delhi-Bagdogra flight was preparing for take-off, the woman pilot of the Vistara flight that had landed spotted the former and informed the Air Traffic Control about the flight preparing to take off on a parallel runway, according to sources.

The take-off was aborted after instructions were received from the Air Traffic Control (ATC).

Speaking about the incident, an official who was aware of the developments told news agency ANI, "Both were given permission at the same time but ATC took control immediately. The ATC officer on duty asked the Vistara flight to abort take-off."

The Delhi-Bagdogra flight returned to the parking bay from the active runway immediately after take-off was aborted.

Airport officials said if the take-off was not stopped at the right time, a major accident could have happened.

"Normally, a take-off clearance is not issued to an aircraft on one runway unless the aircraft on the second runway has landed,” an official told ANI.

23/08/2023 Poulomi Saha/India Today

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