Emirates and Etihad Planes Flying Over Arabian Sea Near Mumbai Came Dangerously Close

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 Two planes flying over the Arabian Sea came so close to each other on Monday morning that they were issued an emergency warning by the planes’ on board collision avoidance systems.

The matter was reported to the Mumbai Air Traffic Controllers by the pilots.

“The incident took place over the oceanic airspace over the Arabian Sea where we don’t have radar coverage. Whatever details we have is based on the report by pilots,” said one of the senior most officials of the Airports Authority of India.

Civil aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation or DGCA is investigating the incident since the airspace comes under Indian jurisdiction.

The incident involved Emirates and Etihad Airways. While one carrier was flying from Dubai to Seychelles, the other was operating a return flight on the same route.

Due to the closure of Yemeni airspace because of the on-going civil war in the region, Emirates and Etihad are operating to Seychelles using the airspace over the Arabian Sea and Muscat airspace.

Safety is of paramount importance to Emirates and “we will be cooperating fully with the Mumbai Air Traffic Control in the subsequent investigation,” the airline said in a statement from Dubai.

Sources say the DGCA’s investigation will reveal more about the safety breach but guidelines require two aircraft to maintain a bare minimum distance of 1000 feet between them. And horizontally, two planes must have a flying time difference of a minimum 10 minutes to avoid any possibility of a collision. “The moment any of these guidelines is violated, the on-board computer tells the pilot what to do or issues a resolution advisory,” said the senior Airports Authority of India official.

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