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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Two ATC officers grounded after Air India and Nepal Airlines near mid-air collision

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Two Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) air traffic controllers who were recently involved in an incident that may have resulted in a two-plane mid-air collision at a holding zone over Simara in Nepal have been placed on indefinite suspension by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

The Nepal Airlines Airbus A320-200, with registration 9N-AKW, was flying the scheduled passenger flight RA416 between Kuala Lumpur (KUL) in Malaysia and Kathmandu (KTM) in Nepal on March 24, 2023, according to flight history data collected on Flightradar24.com.

The Air India Airbus A319-100, registered VT-SCG, was traveling on the planned flight AI213 from Delhi, India, to Kathmandu, Nepal.

The Economic Times said that the incident involving the air traffic conflict occurred when the Air India airline descended from 19,000 feet to an altitude of 3,700 feet.

While the Air India plane descended, the Nepal Airlines aircraft, which was heading in the same direction at an altitude of 15,000 feet, had to decrease its altitude.

Fortunately, the tragedy was avoided because of the warning systems on both aircraft.

The CAAN decided to suspend two on-duty air traffic control officers in reaction to the event.

“Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) of Tribhuvan International Airport involved in traffic conflict incident (between Air India and Nepal Airlines on 24th March 2023) have been removed from active control position until further notice,” the CAAN announced on March 26, 2023.

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