AirAsia India, IndiGo flights got here inside eight km of one another on January 29: Investigation report

AirAsia India’s Ahmedabad-Chennai flight and IndiGo’s Bengaluru-Vadodara flight got here inside eight km of one another with 300 ft vertical separation between them over Mumbai airspace on January 29, based on an Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) report.

The possible trigger for this “serious incident” was the air visitors controller’s “loss of situational awareness”, the report launched earlier this month mentioned.

Another possible trigger was that the scenario was evaluated by the controller on the Mumbai airport “under the influence of preconceived mind”, it mentioned.

Explaining the incident, the report mentioned that a lot of the flights that go from Ahmedabad to southern India overfly Bhavnagar. However, on January 29, the AirAsia India flight was on a route that’s normally taken by planes descending to land on the Mumbai airport.

Due to the change in routing by AirAsia India flight and “direct routing” of the IndiGo flight that was coming from the wrong way, “heading of both aircraft became reciprocal to each other” however at totally different altitudes, it talked about.

At this time, when there was sufficient lateral separation, the automation system of the air visitors controller issued a “predicted conflict warning”. However, the controller didn’t reply to the visible “predicted conflict warning”, the report said.

The controller presumed that the AirAsia India flight was following its normal route over Bhavnagar as a result of his or her earlier expertise. Therefore, the controller perceived that the AirAsia India flight shouldn’t be within the rapid neighborhood of the IndiGo flight, it mentioned.

By the time the controller realised the scenario, the Air Asia India flight had reached 38,008 ft whereas the IndiGo flight was flying at 38,000 ft. The AirAsia India flight continued its ascent as its visitors collision avoidance system (TCAS) issued a warning to the pilots, it mentioned.

“It (Air Asia India flight) was at 38,396 feet when the conflicting traffic was resolved,” the report mentioned. The IndiGo flight maintained an altitude of 38,000 ft.

“The minimum separation between both the aircraft was recorded as 8 km laterally while (it was) 300 feet vertical(ly) when the AirAsia India flight was below the IndiGo flight and it was 6.5 km laterally when the vertical separation was 500 feet when IndiGo flight was below the AirAsia India flight,” the report talked about.

It really useful that appropriate corrective coaching could also be imparted to the controller with an emphasis on situational consciousness and the significance of warnings generated on the automation system.

“It is recommended that Airports Authority of India may reassess the volume of traffic in all sectors which were withdrawn due to less number of traffic during the lockdown and may implement sectors as before pandemic,” it said.


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