15 hurt after flight skids off runway in Goa, accident averted in Delhi (Roundup)

Panaji/New Delhi, Dec 27 (IANS) At least 15 passengers were injured on Tuesday when a Jet Airways flight skidded off the runway during take off from Dabolim International Airport in Goa, while a major accident was averted when Indigo and SpiceJet flights at Delhi’s IGI came face to face on the taxiway.

While the Dabolim International Airport was closed for operations from 5 a.m. to 12.30 p.m., there was no such disturbance at New Delhi’s IGI Airport.

Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has started its probe into the two incidents that endangered the lives of passengers.

On its own the Airports Authority of India (AAI) which provides communication, navigation and surveillance and air traffic management services at the IGI airport derostered a Surface Management Controller (SMC).

In Goa, about 154 passengers were onboard Jet Airways flight 9W 2374, which was departing for Mumbai from Goa’s Dabolim International Airport around 5 a.m.

“The DGCA is already probing the incident. We had closed down the airport for a few hours, but it is operational now,” the official said.

In a statement, Jet Airways said the plane was carrying 154 guests and seven crew members at the time of the incident.

“All guests and crew have been safely evacuated,” the airline said.

On the other hand in Delhi, the accident was averted at the Indira Gandhi International Airport after an Indigo and a SpiceJet aircraft came face to face on the taxiway.

“An Indigo flight 6C-729 which came from Lucknow to Delhi with 176 passengers on board, post landing, saw on the taxiway a SpiceJet aircraft in front of it,” Indigo spokesperson told IANS.

“Following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), the Captain-in-Command took the decision of switching off the engine and reported the incident to Air Traffic Control (ATC),” he said.

The spokesperson also said that the matter has been reported to the Air Traffic Control (ATC) and the DGCA.

In a statement, the IndiGo official also clarified that “there has been no unfortunate incident or close shave-off as reported by a section of media”.

“All 176 passengers along with the crew are safe,” the spokesperson said.

“IndiGo flight was observing ATC instructions all the time at Delhi airport. IndiGo has voluntarily informed the DGCA. This matter is being investigated by IndiGo safety department and the regulator,” the official said.

The official also said that “as an airline we rely upon ATC’s traffic advisory and ensure to comply with their instructions”.

“At IndiGo, safety of the passengers, crew and the aircraft are of top priority — and at no time it can be compromised,” he added.

According to sources, the DGCA has ordered a probe into the incident.

A Spicejet statement said: “SpiceJet flight SG 123 operating between Delhi-Hyderabad was following ATC instructions at all times at the Delhi airport.”

“While taxing (for takeoff), the SpiceJet crew observed another aircraft on the same taxiway in the opposite direction. Acting promptly, the SpiceJet crew immediately stopped the aircraft and intimated the ATC,” said the statement.