Updated Sun, 17 Mar 2019 10:01 AM IST
On Friday afternoon over Mumbai two international flights escaped collision with each other. The two came dangerously close to each other. The two were about to appear in front of each other, they were saved at the last moment by the airborne Collision Avoidance System installed on both.
Both planes were passing through the same route as Pakistan had closed its air space since February 27. Due to this, more airplanes are seen over Mumbai’s airspace. Air Traffic Controller has been deployed to the ground so that it can fully control the traffic.
The Friday incident happened at 1.40 pm When Air France’s Boeing-777 was at 32,000 feet. This plane was going to Paris from Ho Chi Minh City. Etihad Airbus 320 from the other side was on the path from Abu Dhabi to Kathmantu. This aircraft was at an altitude of 31,000 feet.
Sources said, “At 1.40 AM, Mumbai Air Traffic Control (ATC) asked Etihad Flight to go at an altitude of 33,000 feet. After which the plane came in front of the Air France flight coming from the opposite direction. Both the planes were only three nautical miles away from each other, that is, only a few seconds away. ‘
Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS) devices of both aircraft became operational due to which the pilots avoided the possible collision. The ATC official confirmed this. He said, ‘Why this happened, the matter is being investigated. The ATC has been removed from the roster (duty). Pakistan has closed its airspace, due to which there is considerable air traffic in Mumbai.’
A senior official said that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation also confirmed the news and ordered the investigation of this case. Pakistan is consistently refusing to open its airspace. It has set its airspace to open by Monday but nobody knows when it will be.
Due to the long winding down of the airspace, pressure on both airlines and Mumbai ATC is increasing because it has to handle all diverted traffic. The planes flying south and southeast have to take a longer route.