2 Planes Were Only 45 Secs Away From Mid-Air Collision Until Kolkata Team Saved The Day

Although travelling in airplanes is considered to be safest, yet if something goes wrong, it can lead to a huge catastrophe. When these two planes were at 35,000 feet and their pilots were unaware that they were approaching each other, they were at a risk of significant collateral damage. There were only 45 seconds left for Air Traffic Control (ATC) Kolkata to intervene and avoid this collision from happening. Time was running out and every passing moment increased the treat of collision but ATC Kolkata did their job without any fail. 

Descending threat

Two IndiGo planes, one from Guwahati to Chennai and other from Guwahati to Kolkata were flying in the border space between India and Bangladesh. Chennai bound flight was at 35,000 feet and the Kolkata bound flight was at 36,000 feet. Around 05:10 pm, ATC Bangladesh guided Kolkata bound flight to descend to 35,000 feet. Being unaware of the fact that there is another plane in its way, the pilot did the same. 

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Both the aircraft, belonging to low cost carrier IndiGo, had come on the same level on Wednesday evening and posed a threat to both the aeroplanes,” says a senior Airports Authority of India (AAI) official at the Kolkata airport.

Eagle eyed supervision

ATC Bangladesh might have made a mistake but an ATC Kolkata official spotted this imminent threat and promptly guided the Chennai bound flight to turn right and get out of the way of this descending flight resulting in prevention of this collision from taking place. The IndiGo officials are still in grey about this incident as these flights were equipped with Airborne Collision Avoidance System or the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System to avoid such encounters. Also there is a well defined standard separation gap of 1000 feet both vertically and laterally to avoid any unfortunate incidents from happening.  

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We have no such information as of now,” says an IndiGo spokesperson.

No luck, all alertness

It was only because of the alertness and eagle eyed supervision of ATC Kolkata's official, that this accident was avoided. If not, it could have caused some serious damage. The authorities are still unsure about how it happened, so they will be conducting an investigation as per standard procedure to look for the real reason behind this incident.

As per standard procedure, an investigation will be initiated,” says another AAI official.

The greatest relief is that no one suffered any damage and in the end everything went back to normal after those strenuous 45 seconds.

pic courtesy: pic-1, pic-2

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