Aviation

Close call for planes at Gold Coast

Kate Webster

A Jetstar flight had a close call, taking evasive action as it came to land at Coolangatta Airport last Thursday when an AirAsia flight became too close.

An investigation has been launched into the incident that saw the two aircraft come within 152m of each other, violating the minimum 305m gap required by Air Services Australia.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau website said both planes have a collision-avoidance system, which monitors the surrounding airspace and warns of possible risks.

“Pilots are expected to respond immediately when the alarm sounds. The crew of the A320 (conducted) a climb to increase separation,” the website states.

Jetstar released a statement saying the plane received clearance from air traffic control to descend when the alarms sounded.

“Our pilots took corrective action to restore the safe distance between the two aircraft, the flight continued onto the Gold Coast and landed without further incident. It’s likely that most passengers would not have been aware of the incident,” a Jetstar spokesperson said.

AirAsia provided a statement to Travel Weekly saying “AirAsia X pilots on board flight D7 206 received clearance for take-off on 21 July 2016 at Coolangatta airport and followed the flight path according to the heading and altitude provided by the Air Traffic Controller.”

“AirAsia X confirmed that the pilots received warning from traffic collision avoidance system upon take off and the crew responded to the resolution advisory by reducing the vertical speed according to flight safety procedures. The aircraft took off safely and continued its journey without any subsequent events.”

“Investigation is being led by Air Transport Safety Bureau and AirAsia X is cooperating fully.”

Jetstar’s Airbus A320 was coming in from Avalon in Victoria, while the AirAsia A330 was taking off for Auckland.

The planes were not on a direct collision course. Rather, Jetstar says the incident concerned the loss of vertical space between the two aircraft.



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