The Airports Authority of India has issued an official communication in respect to the reports appeared in the media about the ground incident at IGI Airport on 27th December, 2016.
The communication says that the various reports appearing in the media are giving exaggerated version stating that the passengers had close shave, indicating a distorted interpretation that may create fear in the minds of air passengers. In order to avoid such fear, incident may be clarified to the public as under:
“Indigo Airlines flight No 6E-769’ from Lucknow to Delhi, after landing on runway-28 was taxiing via Taxiway ‘E2’ for parking stand 12 as advised by ATC. Departing flight of Spice Jet Airlines No SG123 was not able to take-off from runway 28 due to poor visibility i.e. weather being below minima and therefore was waiting to return to Apron for parking. Accordingly the Controller instructed SG123 to taxi via taxiway C” and hold short of the taxiway ‘E2’ so that Indigo flight 6E-769 and Spice Jet flight SG123 would not conflict with each other. The traffic density being high and complex, the Controller inadvertently gave instructions to SG123 to continue taxi via E to stand 130, mixing its location with the location of SG263 which was holding on another taxiway ‘E’ for departure. However, SG123 also did not question the incomplete ATC instruction for taxiing. These human errors resulted into traffic conflict situation. However, both aircraft stopped at safe distance and there was no risk to aircraft or passengers.”
At times it may not be possible to eliminate human error whether it is aviation or other industries, but continuous efforts are being made by Airports Authority of India to offset such human errors through Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), recurrent training to the controllers and introducing technology.
It may be noted that safety record of ATC provided by Airports Authority of India at Indian airports has been very good and comparable to best in the world.