The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has termed Friday’s near-disaster incident of Air India aircraft an ‘extreme negligence’ and wrote to the Indian authority concerned to take action against crew members for violation of rules.
Jagannath Niroula, spokesperson for the CAAN, said that Nepal’s aviation sector regulator wrote a letter to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, India, on Sunday in this regard.
“We have been waiting for a response from the Indian authority to take further action,” said Niroula, adding that there is no provision to take action by the Nepali authority against the Indian crew members.
On Friday morning, an aircraft of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) and Air India’s plane avoided a major accident, thanks to the prompt action by the crew members of NAC. The NAC plane coming to Kathmandu from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and an Air India plane coming to Kathmandu from New Delhi almost collided in mid air due to the violation by the Indian aircraft.
When the plane of Air India, which was at 19,000 feet, suddenly descended to 16,500 feet, it almost collided with the plane of the NAC, which was flying at the altitude of 15,000 feet.
Niroula said the Air India’s aircraft descended without taking permission from the air traffic controller. According to him, a potential major accident was averted after the Nepal Airlines plane descended to 14,000 feet after the action of Air India.
Following the incident, the CAAN has taken action against two employees of the air traffic controller department for “carelessness that could have led to a collision between the NAC’s plane and the Air India aircraft in the sky on March 24.”
The CAAN has instructed the two officers to remain inactive for the time being, who were in the control room at that time. The names of those employees have not been unveiled.
While the CAAN has formed a three-member probe committee to investigate the matter, Air India is yet to respond on the matter, according to Niroula.