In a heart-stopping incident that narrowly avoided a catastrophic accident, two flights came perilously close to each other on a runway at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on the evening of June 8, 2024. The frightening close call between an IndiGo plane landing and an Air India flight taking off exposed lapses in air traffic control procedures, prompting swift action from aviation authorities.

The Harrowing Incident

Chaos unfolded on Runway 27 when IndiGo flight 6E 5053, arriving from Indore, was given clearance to land while Air India flight AI657 was still in the process of taking off for Thiruvananthapuram. Viral videos captured the chilling moment when the two Airbus A320neo aircraft found themselves alarmingly proximate on the very same stretch of tarmac.

Regulatory Response and Investigations

Recognizing the gravity of the situation, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) swiftly de-rostered the Air Traffic Control (ATC) officers involved for their negligence. An investigation has been launched to understand the circumstances that led to this egregious breach of safety protocols at one of India’s busiest airports.

Alok Yadav, General Secretary of the ATC Guild India, acknowledged the criticality of maintaining strict separation between arriving and departing flights, especially at high-intensity airports like Mumbai, which handle up to 46 flights per hour. He noted that while reduced separation is permissible under good visibility conditions, a thorough probe is underway to determine what went awry.

Airline Statements and Passenger Safety

IndiGo, in a statement, asserted that its pilot followed ATC instructions during the landing approach, underscoring the airline’s unwavering commitment to passenger safety as its paramount priority. The incident has been duly reported to the relevant authorities as per standard procedures.

While both aircraft avoided a collision, the near miss serves as a sobering reminder of the need for heightened vigilance and strict adherence to protocols in the aviation industry, where even the slightest lapse can have catastrophic consequences.

As investigations continue, industry experts and stakeholders await comprehensive findings and recommendations to fortify safeguards and prevent similar occurrences, ensuring the highest standards of safety for air travelers.


Follow Us on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Flipboard | Google News