DGCA de-rosters air traffic controller after Vistara flights narrowly avoid major accident at Delhi airport

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has de-rostered an air traffic controller following a runway incursion involving two Vistara flights. Officials inadvertently gave clearance for crossing and take off of two different aircraft from the same runway – essentially setting the Vistara flights on a collision course. The error was soon rectified with the tower controller asking the Delhi–Bagdogra flight to cancel take off.

Flight VT1926 from Ahmedabad to Delhi was instructed to cross runway 29R after landing on runway 29L on Wednesday morning. At the same time, the controller also permitted take off of another Vistara plane VTI725 operating the flight from runway 29R.

“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,” a senior DGCA official told PTI.

Delhi-Bagdogra flight returned to the parking bay from the active runway immediately after take-off was aborted. Officials said it was refuelled to ensure that the plane had enough fuel to return to Delhi if the pilot encountered bad weather conditions at Bagdogra. The braking system was also checked.

Earlier in the day a Pune-bound Vistara flight had returned to Delhi after adverse weather conditions resulted in a windshield crack. “As a precautionary step, the pilots decided to turn back and the aircraft landed safely at the IGI Airport in Delhi. An alternate aircraft has been immediately arranged, which will depart shortly,” Hindustan Times quoted a spokesperson to report.

Meanwhile an IndiGo plane from Varanasi made an emergency landing at the Delhi airport on Tuesday evening due to a hydraulic issue. The flight with more than 160 passengers onboard was en route to the national capital when it faces technical issues. Delhi. A full emergency was declared at the airport to handle the situation.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 23 Aug 2023, 04:46 PM IST

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