Providential escape for passengers of two flights

The Air Traffic Control at Jayaprakash Narayan International Airport in Patna reportedly goofed up while giving clearance to an Indigo flight (6E-342) to take off and simultaneously asking a Kingfisher plane (IT-3347) to land from the opposite direction.

The incident took place at 6.47 pm when the Indigo flight was about to take off (from the eastern end) and the Kingfisher aircraft was almost to land from the western end. As Captain Devendra Negi of Kingfisher spotted the Indigo flight on the runway, he, barely 100 feet above the runway, immediately decided to do a go-around. After hovering over the airport for nearly 16 minutes, it eventually landed at 7.03 pm.

Meanwhile, the ATC immediately cancelled the Bangalore-bound Indigo plane’s take-off, which was carrying 180 passengers, and called it back to the parking bay. Nearly one hour after the Kingfisher aircraft with 144 passengers landed safely, the Indigo flight was cleared for take off at 8 pm.

Though no senior official was wiling to talk about the goof-up, an airport source confirmed the close shave. “It’s true that it was a providential escape for the passengers of the two flights, which, after getting the ATC clearance, came within a distance of 1,800 metres,” said an official.

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