Mid-air collision between AI and IAF planes averted

Guwahati/New Delhi, Feb 11 : A possible mid-air collision was averted on Tuesday when an Air India Airbus with 43 passengers on board and an IAF transport aircraft came dangerously close to each other over Assam airspace giving a scare just a day after a civilian plane narrowly missed colliding with President's helicopter in Mumbai.

The Air India plane(IC-206) on a flight to Kolkata and an IAF's 'Gajraj' flying from Jorhat to Dibrugarh were in the vicinity of each other over Jorhat airspace and there was a situation of a breach of separation shortly after the civilian aircraft took off from Dibrugarh in Assam at 1155 PM, an Air India spokesman said.
The AI plane later landed safely at Kolkat at 1.20 PM, the spokesman said.

The spokesman said the Airbus was given clearance to climb to 18,000 feet but its pilot after finding the IAF aircraft in the vicinity alerted Dibrugarh Air Traffic Control (ATC) and was asked to take evasive action to either go up to 19,000 feet or descend. The pilot then descended his aircraft to a height of 16,000 feet, the spokesman said.

"Like any responsible pilot, our pilot descended the Airbus to be on the safe side and landed safely at the NSC Bose International Airport," the spokesman told PTI. 
The spokesman said the IAF plane was descending to 17,000 feet and a scare arose when it was at an altitude of 17,300 feet where there was a "breach of separation." Aircraft should mandatorily have a vertical separation of 1,000 feet.