02 Nov 2018
Two IndiGo aircraft were 45 seconds away from mid-air collision
In a very close shave, two IndiGo aircraft were on the brink of a mid-air collision in the airspace over the India-Bangladesh border before disaster was averted by air traffic control (ATC).
With a mere 45 seconds left before the potential collision, one of the planes was asked to move away, thereby avoiding a mid-air disaster.
The situation that almost led to the collision
Among the two flights, one was travelling from Guwahati-Chennai flight and the other was a Guwahati-Kolkata flight.
While the Chennai-bound flight was flying at 35,000ft in Indian airspace, the Kolkata-bound flight was at an altitude of 36,000ft in Bangladesh airspace.
However, the Kolkata-bound flight was asked to descend to 35,000ft, and when it followed the order, it almost collided with the Chennai-bound flight.
How disaster was averted
Thankfully for all those on board the two flights, an air traffic controller at the Kolkata airport identified the possibility of a collision and asked the Chennai-bound flight to turn right and move away from the Kolkata-bound flight's path.
As per flying rules, the standard separation gap between two airborne aircraft, both vertical and horizontal, should be at least 1,000ft.
Investigation into the incident is expected to reveal more details
As of now, it is not known whether the Airborne Collision Avoidance System (ACAS) and the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), which are generally fitted on to aircraft, had alerted the pilots or not.
However, as per standard procedure, and investigation has been initiated and further details are expected to surface once the investigation is completed.