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Delhi air traffic controllers responsible for 2016 IndiGo and KLM near mid-air collision incident: DGCA

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Delhi air traffic controllers responsible for 2016 IndiGo and KLM near mid-air collision incident: DGCA

After a series of investigations, DGCA has found lapses on the part of air traffic controllers in Delhi that caused the near miss collision between the IndiGo and KLM flights over the airspace in 2016.

A close mishap had occurred in 2016 in Delhi airspace when IndiGo and KLM aircraft came in close quarters. The IndiGo flight was travelling from Delhi to Bangalore while KLM was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The incident had occurred on November 2, 2016.

After a series of investigations, DGCA has found lapses on the part of air traffic controllers in Delhi that caused the near miss collision between the IndiGo and KLM flights over the airspace in 2016.

According to the report submitted by the aviation regulator to the civil aviation ministry, 101 of the 109 radar controllers at Delhi air traffic control did not perform any duty for about a year.

The report reads, "In this serious incident, while deciphering the ATC log books for tower unit, it was found that 101 radar controllers, out of total 109 radar controllers as on date of serious incident, were found to have not performed any duty in tower unit [for over six months] during a period of one year (i.e., from Jan 1, 2016 to Dec 31, 2016) thereby rendering their tower rating as invalid,"

The report also pointed out how the Controllers used wrong call sign to guide the aircraft due to which the distance between the two planes was reduced to 3.6 nautical miles (lateral) and 200 feet (vertical), thus the aircraft issued a collision warning.

As a result, the DGCA has recommended to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to give corrective training to radar controllers.