RAWALPINDI: On Sunday, two Pakistan International Airlines aircraft narrowly avoided a midair collision over Iranian territory close to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) airspace because they were travelling in the same direction and at the same height.
The two aircraft allegedly came dangerously close to colliding because of the Iranian Air Traffic Control (ATC), which is claimed to have cleared the same height. A PIA Boeing 777 was flying from Islamabad to Dubai, and an Airbus A320 was flying from Doha to Peshawar, according Pakistani reports.
While captain Athar Haroon piloted a Boeing 777, captain Samiullah was in command of an Airbus A-320.
But as the two planes drew nearer, one was ordered to ascend and the other to drop in accordance with protocol.All aircraft have a mechanism called the Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS). By interacting the with TCAS of other aircraft, it automatically pilots the plane.
“PIA is writing to Iranian traffic control (ATC) to inquire as the Iranian ATC commanded the jet, but it was wrong,” a PIA spokesman said.
According to him, PIA flight (PK-211), a Boeing 777 between Islamabad to Dubai, was flying at 35,000 feet as it approached PIA aircraft (PK-268) from Doha, an Airbus A320 with a destination of Peshawar.
He stated that the PK-268 flight was at a height of 36,000 feet and had been given permission to drop to 20,000 feet.The Boeing 777 PK-211 PIA jet’s flight path would have been crossed by the descent, the official continued.
But, he said, the aircraft’s TCAS automatically guided both planes and corrected their courses.