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Narrow escapes: Hits and misses

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There is congestion over air traffic and with the result of that the passengers reach their destination rather late after failing to get landing clearance from ATC. The number of near misses between aircraft in the air and on the ground increases by over 80% with a rise in air traffic by 20% and more this year. ATC felt the glitches and the onus is on to prevent potential collisions. Last week IndiGo and SpiceJet aircraft came dangerously close to each other at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport and it was sad reflection on the control system.

A major accident was averted as two planes, came face-to-face on the runway. According to reports, there was miscommunication with the Air Traffic Control. The IndiGo flight had arrived from Lucknow and was moving towards the taxiway while the SpiceJet flight was about to take off. As the New Delhi and Mumbai airports are experiencing high number of landings and take offs in a day, the confusion is going on mounting up and it is now or never situation and near hits and misses are part and parcel of the air traffic in India. The radar managing landing and take offs from the airport should be able to point out the impending danger well in time to take necessary precautions.

In another mishap a Jet Airways plane skid out of control at Goa Airport and number of passengers got hurt and the rest got the shock of their life time. There were 154 passengers and seven crew members when the Boeing 737 aircraft turned a full 360 degree on the runway and veered towards the soft land, in the process damaging the landing gear. Fifteen passengers sustained minor injuries. For overcoming all this problems and to make sure of safe landing the length and breadth of the runway is to be extended with proper cushioning to provide safe landing.

Generally the confusion is emanating from the Air Traffic Control (ATC) as the timing of landing and take off coincide causing more confusion and the lurking danger.  Many minor collisions involving aircraft and ground vehicles could be avoided. The height of the hangers is also a problem which will affect the movement of big air crafts. The exact height will have to be determined and corrective measures have to be taken to set right the shortcomings.

It is a difficult task to manage the momentum in busy airports like Mumbai and Delhi but with better infrastructure we can have a better control and thereby make things move in a more organised way, thus providing full security to the passengers.

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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