An accident was averted at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in New Delhi around 5.40 am on Wednesday (February 1) morning after an aircraft belonging to IndiGo Airlines entered the wrong runway, heading towards a parked Jet Airways aircraft. The IndiGo aircraft, which was set to take off for Vishakhapatnam, was alerted just in time by the Air Traffic Controller (ATC).
IndiGo Airlines later said the incident happened due to "low visibility" though the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has launched a probe into the incident. Several flights got delayed as a result of the incident while some flights arriving in Delhi were diverted because Runway 28 was unavailable for more than an hour.
"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 told the Press Trust of India.
"Followings this, IndiGo was contacted to arrange to push back toe but it took time and due to poor visibility, the 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," sources added.
IndiGo also released a statement stating: "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 statement added that the aircraft stopped at a safe distance from the Jet Airways plane following the instructions from the ATC. However, it was not able 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.