VASCO: In a shocking incident, the Air Traffic Controller (ATC) at Dabolim airport denied landing permission to a Bangalore-Goa flight carrying 51 passengers on Thursday morning.
The Kingfisher flight was forced to return to Bangalore, sparking off angry protests from commercial airline operators, who have criticised the high-handed attitude of the ATC.
According to sources at the airport, the Bangalore-Goa Kingfisher flight was scheduled to arrive at Dabolim airport at 7.45 am and the return journey was scheduled at 8.15 am.
Due to a heavy fog in Bangalore, the flight got delayed and reached Goa at about 8.45 am.  However, since Dabolim airport is also a defence airfield, the runway and airfield is shut for civilian aircraft from Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 1 pm, as this time is reserved for naval sorties.
Since the Kingfisher flight reached 15 minutes after the scheduled cut-off time for civilian flights, the ATC denied the landing permission to the aircraft at the last moment and the aircraft had to be diverted to Bangalore.
“The ATC was well aware that the flight took off late from Bangalore. The ATC could well have asked the flight not to take off from Bangalore since it would have arrived late in Goa and beyond the cut-off time for civilian flights,” complained an angry official at the airport.
“However, the high-handed attitude of the ATC was such that they chose not to intimate the flight crew and allowed the flight to reach Goa. Then at the eleventh hour, the ATC refused permission to the flight to land at Dabolim,” the official added.
To make matters worse, a short while after the Kingfisher flight was forced to divert to Bangalore, the ATC permitted an IC 567 flight to take off from Dabolim airport to Chennai at about 9 am, infuriating the commercial airline operators.
As a result of the diversion of the Kingfisher flight to Bangalore, 58 passengers stranded at the Dabolim airport were accommodated in a Jet Airways flight at 2.30 pm. The Kinghfisher flight with 51 passengers later returned to Goa at 5.30 pm.
According to airport officials, the ATC and commercial airlines generally have a mutual understanding when a flight approaches the runway for a delayed landing.
“Whenever a delay occurs, one or two flights are adjusted, especially if they are close to the runway,” said the official.
Though officials of the commercial airline operators, including the airport staff, were reluctant to speak officially about the incident, they expressed their outrage to the media over the ATC’s decision to prevent an aircraft from landing at Dabolim airport at the last minute.
When contacted for a comment on the incident, the ATC claimed that the issue would be addressed by the Airport Director D Paul Manickam.
While repeated efforts to contact the airport director proved futile, a source at the AAI said: “The airport director has nothing to say on the matter since the ATC at Dabolim airport is not managed by the AAI.” (HD)


dlp said...

It is the norm in India for everything to happen at the eleventh hour. Aftet the original landing time (0745) was already passed, the ATC must have gone to sleep. Why should he bother to check whether the flight has left late from Bangalore. His job is to give or not to give permission for the flight to land. He thinks he is the whole and soul. We need a Musharaf in Goa to get rid of these assholes. What if there was not enough fuel for the flight to reach back to Bangalore? What if it could not land in Bangalore too for for any reason and had to be diverted to somewhere else? What? What?? What???

Dalia said...

It was high time that we could have got rid of Navy's domination from Goa. Navy is in Goa because half of their family ha settled in Goa. The Sea Bird project was built for the Navy to shift there but the love of land and property by these Navymen in Goa has attached them in Vasco in the name of security. What threat does it exist in Goa from any neighbors?
Chorchill fooled us with the promise of a full time Dabolim airport for us. He got his sacks filled and gave up Dabolim and put his Shave Goa party to RIP.

dlp said...

Dalia... Chorchill should take the profession of a full time barber. He shaved Goa very nicely and still keeps on shaving. He has become an expert in shaving everything. Good business.

Anonymous said...

In no way, should ATC be held responsible for refusing permission to land.

There is no exception to the rule regardless of the Airline. All Airlines generally are aware of the code of ethics, the accepted guidelines required prior their departure to it’s respective destination, at the port of landing. Kingfisher Airlines should fully accept responsibility for having violated and wandered away mindlessly and should have been aware that they are legally bound for trouble. They are liable and should be taken to task for putting the passengers through a high degree of mental torture, distress, freight and anxiety above all loss of time.

Many on this Niz Goenkar’s forum are solely on the view of negative or hostile thinking and have wandered like the Kingfisher Airline, absent from distinguishing right from wrong.

Dalia said...

Johnads, I have been flying every week somewhere around for the last 3 decdes and never have been in a situation like faced by Kingfisher. ATC was in full knowledge before the takeoff and when the plane was in air. We may have a conflict in thinking but there should be no conflict in the written rules. I fully blame ATC for the blunder. It's not that he just spotted the plane when it reached Zuari Nagar. Wasn't there any communication before that between the pilot and ATC? You are too hostile in your thinking, use some sense.

franco said...

To Johnads & Dalia, you both are right in what you are thinking. But here the issue of the Airlines is discipline, safety and security of the passengers and airline, which they have flouted and put the entire crew members and passengers at risk. Circulars are issued before hand of the restrictions in each localities and they have to follow it strictly. I know a Italian pilot, who even will not exceed his speed limit on road. That is what the pilots and airlines have to follow to avoid any untoward incidents for the safety & security of the passengers and the airline.

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