Quick thinking by the Air Traffic Controller (ATC) averted a collision between an IndiGo and an Air India aircraft at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Thursday morning.
Sources in the ATC said the incident took place around 11 am when IndiGo flight 6E-398 from Ranchi to Delhi was about to land on runway 27.
Air India’s Delhi-Goa AI156 was, meanwhile, about to take off from runway 28 at 11.15 am. There were 122 passengers, including three infants, on board the national carrier. The number of people on the IndiGo flight could not be ascertained.
However, at the last moment, the IndiGo aircraft opted not to land even as the Air India aircraft started speeding to take off, raising the possibility of a mid-air collision.
The ATC, however, was quick to react, and asked the Air India pilot to abort take-off and come back to the bay, leading to some panic amid passengers.
“The AI plane was about to take off in the same direction as the other aircraft. But it was asked to abort take-off. The pilot had to apply emergency brakes at a high speed. Afterwards, the flight had to undergo maintenance check as emergency brakes can lead to tyre burst. The Air India aircraft later took off for Goa at 12.50 pm,” sources said.
An IndiGo spokesperson said, “IndiGo flight 6E-398 Ranchi to Delhi discontinued an approach on to runway 27 at Delhi at low-level as per SOP’s and landed after a few minutes. At no point safety was compromised and nor have we heard anything adverse from ATC Delhi.”