Air India Landing Row: Maldives probe fails ATC, airport operator and co-pilot

NEW DELHI: Maldives authorities proving the landing of a Indian air The airplanes (AI) on a runway under construction at Male airport last September concluded that the co-pilot of that flight was aware of a warning to the aviators (NOTAM) about the next landing strip, but did not alert the pilot to command (PIC) more or less the same.

To complicate matters, the air traffic controllers (ATC) at Male's Velana International Airport were completely distracted when the AI ​​flight landed on the runway under construction and the closed runway markings on the runway were not clear.

This landing on the wrong runway had happened on September 7, 2018, when AI 263 operating in the Thiruvananthapuram-Male sector with 107 passengers and seven crew members on board landed on a runway under construction. Fortunately, the Airbus A320 (VT-EXL) landed and stopped safely on the runway that had not yet been commissioned for operations with the main landing gear tire on the damaged left side. No one aboard the plane was injured.

The Maldives Accident Investigation Coordination Committee (AICC), under the Ministry of Transportation of the island nation, investigated it and has now made the report public. He (PIC) stated that the touchdown was normal. Around 100 knots, they crossed a white cloth and could feel a slight blow ... ATC reported that they landed on a wrong track. Then he turned off the engines, ”says the report on the pilot in command.

“The PIC was not aware of the NOTAM issued regarding the track under construction ... the track under construction is almost parallel to the track in use. Although the co-pilot had previously used runway 18 (the one that was in use) in Male, and was aware of the NOTAM about the runway under construction, the information was not shared with the PIC, which was the pilot flying at the time of incident. The report says, adding, However, she (co-pilot) realized that it was not the right clue approximately when they were about to land when she saw the white thing.

What added to the confusion was that the track marks painted on the track under construction (were) brighter and more visible than those of the track in use. And the report adds: It was seen that the men (ATC) were completely distracted when AI 263 landed on the track under construction ... The track marks on the track under the constructions were painted but were not erased according to ( rules) .

The president of AICC, AR Idris, concludes that it is clear from the investigations that this serious incident occurred due to the confusion of the track in operation and the track under construction. The panel has asked the Male airport operator to determine the established procedure to ensure that the regulatory requirements are met while maintenance, development and updating work is carried out ... Ensure that the runway lights in use are kept on at all times .