The Air Traffic Controller at the Delhi airport averted a major accident on Wednesday after aborting the take-off of a flight to Bagdogra which clashed with the landing of a flight from Ahmedabad.
A Vistara flight from Ahmedabad to Delhi, after landing on a parallel runway, was proceeding towards the end of the runway as Flight UK725 from Delhi to Bagdogra was about to take off from the newly opened runway.
A senior official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told PTI that Vistara aircraft VT1926 operating the flight from Ahmedabad to Delhi was involved in the runway incursion. The aircraft landed on runway 29L and was instructed by the air traffic controller to cross runway 29R. At the same time, the controller also permitted take off of another Vistara plane VTI725 operating the flight from runway 29R, the official said.
An official told ANI, “Both were given permission at the same time but ATC took control immediately. The ATC (Air Traffic Control) officer on duty asked Vistara flight to abort take-off."
After the ATC aborted the take-off, the Delhi-Bagdogra flight then immediately returned to the parking bay from the active runway.
How did the mishap happen?
The DGCA official reportedly said, "Momentarily, tower controller forgot this crossing and issued take off clearance to another Vistara flight VTI725 (Delhi–Bagdogra) from runway 29R."
"On realisation of the error based on input from VTI926, the tower controller instructed VTI725 to cancel take off," the official added.
Reportedly the airport officials admitted that a major accident could have happened if the take-off was not aborted at the right time. The Standard Operating Procedure of the airport doesn't allow other vehicular movements during a single landing or take-off.
Aviation regulator DGCA will probe the incident and the air traffic controller concerned has been derostered, another official told PTI.
Captain Amit Singh who is a senior pilot and the founder of Safety Matters Foundation told ANI, “from closely spaced runways require enhanced monitoring and stricter compliance with SOPs to avoid a potential traffic collision due to the proximity of the flight path". He also mentioned that while an aircraft has already landed on a runway, the take-off instructions for another flight are not issued usually.
Further, he added, “However, due to a lapse if the aircraft is permitted to take off from one runway and the aircraft approaching on the second runway decides to abort the landing and carry out a go-around to climb ahead, the flight path of the two aircraft in the air may come in conflict since the runway they were aligned to were closely spaced."
According to the reports, the flight to Bagdogra was refuelled after the take-off was aborted because there is a possibility of it returning back to Delhi due to bad weather conditions in the destination. The brakes were also checked before it takes off again.
The passengers on the flight because a little apprehensive due to the delay and sudden instruction to abort the take-off from the ATC.