March 30, 2023

Babus try to hush up Bengaluru near miss, probe ordered | India News – Times of India

BENGALURU: People onboard two IndiGo flights had a miraculous escape when the aircraft were cleared to take off simultaneously in the same direction from Bengaluru airport’s parallel runways on January 7, 2022. Luckily, a radar controller spotted the potentially grave error and alerted pilots in both flight decks. One plane swerved sharply to left and the other to right to avoid a collision. The serious situation didn’t end then as local authorities allegedly tried to hush it up by not reporting it to DGCA, possibly avoid a probe, and punishment.
Directorate General of Civil Aviation chief Arun Kumar has taken a very serious note of the incident. A probe has been ordered and Kumar told TOI that “strict action will be taken against” those found responsible for it.
The distance between the two airstrips at Bengaluru is not sufficient enough to allow parallel and simultaneous take-offs or landings. A certain time difference has to be maintained between flight movements for operational safety reasons.
“On January 7, 2022, two IndiGo flights — 6E-455 to Kolkata and 6E-246 to Bhubaneswar — were involved in breach of separation at Bengaluru airport. That morning, Bengaluru airport’s north runway was meant to be used for take-offs and south for landings. Later, the shift incharge (WSO) decided to have single runway operations by using the north runway for both arrivals and departures,” said a DGCA official.
At this time, the south runway was supposed to have been closed for operations. However, this was not conveyed to the south tower controller. As a result, the “south tower controller gave departure (clearance) to 6E-455 and at the same time north tower controller gave departure (nod) to 6E-246 without coordination. Both aircraft after departure were moving towards each other. The approach radar controller gave diverging heading and avoided a mid-air collision,” the DGCA official said.
Shockingly, Airports Authority of India neither reported this incident nor was it recorded in any logbook.
Bengaluru ATC officials were not available for comment. A query to IndiGo Airlines didn’t receive a response till Tuesday evening.

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