Kathmandu: A major tragedy was averted on Friday when an Air India and a Nepal Airlines aircraft came close to collision mid-air but the warning systems alerted the pilots whose timely action prevented the disaster, authorities said here on Sunday.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has suspended three employees of the air traffic controller department for ”carelessness” during duty hours, according to CAAN spokesperson Jagannath Niroula.
On Friday morning, an aircraft of the Nepal Airlines coming to Kathmandu from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and an Air India plane coming to Kathmandu from New Delhi almost collided. Both aircraft were Boeing A320 with the capacity of around 150 passengers.
The Air India aircraft was descending from 19,000 ft while the Nepal Airlines aircraft was flying at an altitude of 15,000 ft at the same location, Niroula said.
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After it was shown on the radar that the two aircraft were in proximity, the Nepal Airlines aircraft descended to 7,000 ft, the spokesperson said.
The Civil Aviation Authority has formed a three-member probe committee to investigate the matter.
The CAAN has removed three staff of the Tribhuvan International Airport who were on duty at the time of the incident from active control position until further notice, according to a notice issued by the CAAN.
Meanwhile, the CAAN has written a letter to the Safety Department of the DGCA (Director General Civil Aviation, India) to conduct an investigation into the matter. The CAAN has also asked the Indian regulatory authority to take necessary action against the guilty and inform it, according to spokesperson Niroula.
There was no immediate comment from Air India.