IndiGo, Air India Flights Graze On Kolkata Airport Runway, Avoid Mishap

05:49PM Wed 27 Mar, 2024

Two airplanes had a close encounter when they grazed against each other on the runway in Kolkata on Wednesday morning posing a significant risk to the hundreds of passengers onboard.

An IndiGo aircraft heading towards Darbhanga collided with a stationary Air India Express flight at Kolkata Airport. The Air India Express aircraft was waiting for clearance to enter the runway when it was hit by the IndiGo aircraft. As a result of the collision, a part of the Air India Express aircraft's wing fell onto the runway, while the wing of the IndiGo aircraft was dented.

According to news agency ANI, the IndiGo A320 VT-ISS pilots have been taken off duty by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and a thorough investigation has been initiated.

"We have ordered a detailed investigation into the matter and both the pilots of IndiGo airlines have been off-rostered. The ground staff will also be questioned during the investigation. Both the flights have been grounded for detailed inspection," a DGCA official said.

The IndiGo plane carried a total of 135 passengers, which included four infants.

"A minor graze between a taxiing IndiGo aircraft and that of another carrier was reported from Kolkata Airport. The aircraft returned to the bay for inspection and necessary action, per protocol," the low-cost carrier said, adding that the aviation regulator DGCA has been informed that an incident report has been filed.

"Consequently, IndiGo flight 6E 6152 between Kolkata and Darbhanga has been delayed," it added. Refreshments were given to all passengers and an alternative aircraft was arranged.

"IndiGo prioritises passenger safety above all else. An incident report will be submitted to DGCA in due course," the carrier said.

Referring to the incident, a spokesperson from Air India Express commented, "The wingtip of a taxiing aircraft of another airline grazed one of our aircraft, which was stationary and awaiting clearance to enter the runway at Kolkata for a scheduled operation to Chennai. The aircraft has since returned to the bay and further investigation is underway, for which we are coordinating with the regulator and airport authorities. We apologise for the inconvenience caused to guests due to external circumstances."

In an incident report the Kolkata airport mentioned, "At 11:10 am, received information from ATC that one aircraft IX 1886 (VT-TGG) report wingtip vortices hit. Observed wingtip vortices of aircraft IX 1886 are missing and wingtip vortices of aircraft 6E 6152 have dents."