New Delhi: Three international aeroplanes which were flying just 1,000 feet apart from each other escaped a mid-air collision over Delhi on Sunday (December 23). The pilots of the three flights would be summoned by the Aircraft Accident Incident Bureau (AAIB), sources in the bureau told ANI. The incident was reportedly averted after the Air Traffic Control (ATC) sent them a series of multiple auto-generated warnings. Also Read - Delhi Government Caps Price of RT-PCR Test by Private Labs at Rs 800
The three foreign airlines — Dutch carrier KLM, Taiwan’s Eva Air, and US-based National Airlines were carrying hundreds of passengers. They clearly violated the rules by flying at almost the same level. The US National Airlines from Afghanistan to Hong Kong was flying at 31,000 feet, the Amsterdam-Bangkok EVA Air plane at 32,000 feet and Vienna-bound Dutch KLM at 33,000 feet. KLM Dutch carrier was travelling to Bangkok from Amsterdam. Eva Air was travelling to Vienna from Bangkok. National Airlines was travelling to Hong Kong from Afghanistan. Also Read - RT-PCR Testing Cost to be Reduced in Delhi, CM Kejriwal Issues Fresh Directives
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s Aircraft (Investigation of Accidents and Incidents) Rules 2017 gives AAIB the power to summon the pilots of foreign airlines for investigation. The DGCA rules “extend to the whole of India and apply to, and to the persons on, aircraft registered outside India.” The rules are applicable to an aircraft operated by a person who is not an Indian citizen but has his principal place of business or permanent residence of India. Also Read - Won't go to 'Open Jail' in Burari, Will Block All 5 Entry Points to Delhi: Farmers' Union to Centre
AAIB sources added that the bureau can call pilots of any foreign airlines in serious cases through International Civil Aviation Organisation, an international aviation body.
In yet another incident in July this year, two IndiGo planes namely E779 (Coimbatore to Hyderabad) and 6E6505 (Bengaluru to Kochi) were less than four miles apart. The mid-air collision over Bengaluru was averted as the ATC warned one of the planes to rise 36,000 feet and the other to climb 28,000 feet.
(With Agency inputs)