A mid-air collision between two IndiGo aircraft was averted on January 7 over the Bengaluru airport, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said in a report on Wednesday.
The accident was prevented after a radar controller took corrective actions immediately upon observing that the planes were on a collision course after taking off.
The two IndiGo planes – 6E455 (Bengaluru to Kolkata) and 6E246 (Bengaluru to Bhubaneswar) – were involved in a “breach of separation” at the airport, said DGCA officials. Both the planes had departed from Kempegowda International Airport within approximately 5 minutes.
A “breach of separation” happens when two aircraft cross the minimum mandatory vertical or horizontal distance in the airspace.
“Both aircraft after departure were on converging heading i.e. moving towards each other,” a DGCA official told PTI. “Approach radar controller gave diverging heading and avoided mid-air collision.”
The Bengaluru airport operates two runways – north and south. On January 7 morning, flights were taking off from the north runway and landing on the south one, reported The Indian Express. A DGCA officer said the air traffic controller was not informed about the south runway’s closure.
“Because of this, the two flights were given permission for take-off at the same time from the converging runways,” the officer told The Indian Express. “This incident resulted in a situation where the aircraft moving in the same direction were about to collide with each other.”
The incident was not mentioned in any logbook and the Airports Authority of India also did not report it.
DGCA chief Arun Kumar told PTI that a probe into the incident has been ordered and the regulator “shall take strictest action against those found delinquent”.
IndiGo and AAI officials have not commented on the matter yet.