DGCA acts against KIA’s ATC officials for near collision of two Indigo flights

Though they were involved in a breach of separation at the airport, the incident was not reported to DGCA.

Published: 31st May 2022 06:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st May 2022 06:29 AM   |  A+A-

Indigo

Representational Image. (File | Reuters)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The civil aviation regulatory body, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has issued strict enforcement action against two officials of the Air Traffic Control (ATC) unit of the Kempegowda International Airport for a near collision between two Indigo flights here on January 7. The action follows completion of an inquiry by DGCA.

The New Indian Express was the only paper to report the near mid-air collision between 6E 455 (Bengaluru to Kolkata) and 6E 246 (Bengaluru to Bhubaneswar), which took off simultaneously from the north and south runways of KIA. Though they were involved in a breach of separation at the airport, the incident was not reported to DGCA.

DGCA Director-General Arun Kumar told TNIE on Monday, “We recently took strict action against those responsible for the serious incident after completing the regulatory investigation. The licence of the north tower controller, who was also the WSO (Watch Supervisory Officer) of the shift, has been suspended for three months for failing to comply with numerous rules. A warning letter has been issued to the tower supervisor for not monitoring the activities of the ATC tower and not reporting the incident.” 

Suspended controller faces 5 charges

A warning letter by the regulatory body is deemed a serious matter and is a permanent blot on an individual’s career. The suspended controller has been charged with five counts, including not reporting the incident, violating the Aeronautical Information Publication (details of regulations, procedures) India for aircraft operation and failing to comply with coordination procedures during change of runway operations form segregated mode to single mode.

The inquiry revealed the south tower controller gave the departure signal to 6E 455 in coordination with the Approach Radar Controller. At the same time, the north tower controller gave departure code to 6E 246 without prior coordination with the south tower controller and the approach radar controller, Kumar said.

As both aircraft were on converging heading (moving towards each other), the approach radar controller gave diverging heading to separate these aircraft, the probe revealed. “At the closest point of conflict, the vertical separation between both aircraft was 100 ft (standard is supposed to be 1,000 ft) and the lateral separation was 0.9 Nautical Mile (standard is 3 NM - 1 NM is equal to 1,852 m),” the DGCA chief said.
An inquiry by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau is still on.



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