Mumbai Airport: Air India Plane Escapes Tragedy As Air Astana Flight Nearly Collides During Take Off

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A serious tragedy was prevented at Mumbai airport last week when an Air Astana plane made a false turn and entered an active runway where an Air India plane was accelerating for takeoff. On February 22, at 3 p.m., an Air Astana Airbus A320 aircraft was preparing to take off for Almaty when, instead of taking a taxiway parallel to the active runway to queue behind other planes for its turn to take off, it made a wrong turn and entered a taxiway that intersected the runway in use.

When the Air Astana aircraft crossed the active runway, Air India’s Airbus A319 aircraft had already begun to accelerate for takeoff on its flight to Doha. After reaching a speed of 40 knots and noticing another aircraft in its course, the Air India aircraft delayed and rejected takeoff, avoiding a collision. However, the Air Astana plane continued to follow the erroneous path.

According to eyewitness and aviation photographer Aneesh Bapaye, an IndiGo aircraft approaching the airport from Nagpur aborted landing and completed a go-around before attempting to land again.

The incident caused a one-hour delay in Air India’s departure to Doha.

A senior DGCA official stated that they were examining the event, but declined to comment on the likely cause. Such occurrences must be reported by both the airlines and the Air Traffic Controller, but according to a senior DGCA officer, none have.

Recently, there was a lot of congestion issue being faced at the Mumbai Airport. To resolve this issue, the DGCA announced decrease in flights. The civil aviation ministry announced on February 28 that the air traffic situation at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has improved, with fewer airline arrival delays. Giving a comparison of air traffic patterns based on flight arrivals between November 11-December 10, 2023, and February 16-24, 2024, the ministry stated that its actions are producing benefits and that the issue is being continuously monitored.

Mumbai airport, roughly two months after orders, including a flight decrease, was given to alleviate congestion.

During the period of February 16-24, the ministry reported 4,337 arrivals at the airport, with no delays lasting more than an hour and 178 planes delayed for 30-60 minutes.

According to the data, up to 570 planes arrived ahead of time, 2,469 planes were delayed for 0-15 minutes, and 1,120 planes for 15-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, there were 14,476 arrivals from November 11 to December 10, 2023. According to the data, 1,641 flights were delayed for more than an hour, 2,141 for 30-60 minutes, 2,083 for 15-30 minutes, and 3,632 for 0-15 minutes. A total of 4,979 aircraft arrived ahead of schedule.