An alert by Varanasi airport Air Traffic Controller or ATC prevented two aircraft from coming on a collision course at the runway on Tuesday, following which one of the airlines grounded two of its pilots.
Two SpiceJet pilots operating a Varanasi to Hyderabad flight on Tuesday morning were grounded, confirmed a spokesperson of the airline.
The incident occurred when an IndiGo aircraft with 178 passengers onboard was about to take off for Mumbai. The ATC had asked the SpiceJet flight to remain at the holding point till the IndiGo plane took off, airport sources said.
However, according to the SpiceJet spokesperson, the aircraft while taxing to the runway "inadvertently" crossed the runway holding point.
Noticing the incursion, the ATC immediately alerted the IndiGo plane, which aborted takeoff, the sources said.
The matter has been referred to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), IndiGo said.
"IndiGo aircraft VT-IHS operating 3175 (Varanasi -Mumbai) in spite of having ATC clearance had to abort the takeoff at a low speed because the aircraft of another carrier came on the runway. IndiGo cockpit crew followed standard operating procedures in compliance with the ATC instructions. IndiGo has voluntarily reported the matter to the DGCA," the airline said in a statement.
SpiceJet, in a statement, said, "On 12th June 2018, SpiceJet Boeing 737 800 aircraft VT-SGH was scheduled to operate SG-705 , sector Varanasi-Hyderabad. At Varanasi while taxing to the runway the aircraft inadvertently crossed the runway holding point."
"The ATC asked the pilot to hold position and later cleared it for take off," SpiceJet said.