Emirates, SpiceJet planes come too close for comfort mid-air

Bernd Debusmann Jr. (Chief Reporter)/Dubai
bernd@khaleejtimes.com Filed on August 22, 2016 | Last updated on August 22, 2016 at 06.01 am
Emirates, SpiceJet planes come too close for comfort mid-air

"Emirates can confirm that flight EK433 Brisbane to Dubai on 11th August, whilst in Indian airspace, received indications of proximity traffic."

An Emirates Airlines flight between the Australian city of Brisbane and Dubai had a near-miss with another aircraft while in Indian airspace earlier in August, Emirates said on Sunday.

"Emirates can confirm that flight EK433 Brisbane to Dubai on 11th August, whilst in Indian airspace, received indications of proximity traffic," an Emirates spokesperson said.

"The flight crew correctly followed the on board system guidance to remain clear, following which they reported the occurrence to Air Traffic Control."

"At no time were passengers in any danger - the safety of our passengers and crew as always is our top priority," the spokesperson added. According to Indian media reports, the other aircraft involved in the incident was a SpiceJet flight between Chennai and Hyderabad.

"While passing flight level 35,000, ATC instructed the pilot to stop climb. By that time the aircraft had climbed to 35,400 feet. Our flight descended back to 35,000, and during which SpiceJet aircraft got descend resolution advisory," a SpiceJet source is quoted as saying in the Indian Express.

The Indian Express report notes that Directorate General of Civil Aviation is investigating the incident, which will 'soon' be handed over the Airprox Investigation Board (AIB).

According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), airprox is a "situation in which, in the opinion of a pilot or air traffic services personnel, the distance between aircraft as well as their relative positions and speed have been such that the safety of the aircraft involved may have been compromised."

The ICAO has four different classifications for airprox incidents, ranging from "risk not determined" to "risk of collision" in which a serious risk of collision occurred.

The later can also be further classified as a "serious incident". On August 4, the Indian government noted to Parliament that as many as 17 airprox incidents had occurred as of July 10.

At the time, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said that 25 such incidents also occurred in 2015 and 31 in 2014. In one well-publicized recent incident on August 2, two IndiGo aircraft came dangerously close to each other in the skies over the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka.



Bernd Debusmann Jr.

Originally from Mexico City, I've been in Dubai since January 2015. Before arriving in in the UAE I worked as a general news reporter in TV and print in Mexico City, NYC and Washington DC. I'm interested in defence issues, politics, technology, aviation and history. In my spare time i enjoy traveling and football - I'm a keen fan of Chelsea FC. I developed an interest in the Middle East traveling through Jordan and the West Bank. I have a BA in Political Science from Dickinson College in the USA and an MA in International Journalism from City University London.

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