Report submitted on near-collision of President’s chopper

June 23rd, 2009 - 10:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha Patil New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation Tuesday submitted the report of its probe into near-collision between President Pratibha Patil’s choppers and an Air India aircraft at Mumbai airport Feb 9.
DGCA Director General S.N.A. Zaidi, who investigated the incident, submitted the report to the Civil Aviation Secretary M. Madhavan Nambiar.

Although the findings of the probe are yet to be known, sources in the department said the report has a set of 20 recommendations.

However, the report does not include the demand by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to close the airspace for 10 minutes before flying the VVIPs, especially the President and the Prime Minister.

The recommendations generally relate to air traffic procedures and coordination between various agencies, especially between the IAF and the Airports Authority of India, the regulator of airports in India, said an official.

The president was inside one of three choppers that were part of her entourage, and it was in a matter of seconds that the mishap was averted at Mumbai airport Feb 9.

Soon after the incident, the IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major had stoutly defended his chopper pilots and gave them a clean chit. He also stated they were among the best in the air force.

On May 31, a major disaster was averted at the Mumbai airport when two passenger aircraft proceeded for take off simultaneously from two runways, but pilots of these aircrafts managed to stop before the planes could collide.

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