In a narrow escape for passengers, a disaster was averted at the IGI airport today morning when a Visakhapatnam-bound IndiGo aircraft entered a wrong taxiway where a Jet Airways aircraft was positioned.
Regulator DGCA has initiated a probe into the incident which took place around 05.40 hours and impacted operations at the Indira Gandhi International airport.
Many flights were delayed while some incoming aircraft were diverted due to the non-availability of runway 28 for over an hour, sources said.
"IndiGo flight 6E 719 (New Delhi-Visakhapatnam) was given taxi permission through C lane and was supposed to hold at Runway 28 but the aircraft commander crossed the runway and realised he was standing in W lane, where a Jet Airways aircraft was already stationed," airport sources said.
"Followings this, IndiGo was contacted to arrange push back toe but it took time and due to poor visibility, toe was guided by a follow-me vehicle.
"During this period all operations were on hold, causing a heavy congestion and consequently flight delays as well," they said.
In a statement, IndiGo said, "IndiGo flight 6E-719 while taxing from taxiway C for runway 28 for departure with Runway Visual Range of 125 meters at Delhi airport missed the runway centerline due to low visibility and found itself taxing towards taxiway W where a Jet Airways B737 aircraft was already stationed to be lined up."
The airline, however, said that its aircraft stopped with adequate separation with Jet Airways, when directed by the Air Traffic Controller, but was unable to turn to line up.
"Keeping in mind the safety of passengers and aircraft, the Captain in Command took the decision to switch off the engines and pushed back to line up on runway 28, while following ATC instructions at times," the statement said.
(With inputs from PTI)