New Delhi: The lives of air passengers were put at risk on 22 occasions in the country since June 2011 when two aircraft came too close to each other causing near miss incidents, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has revealed.
According to DGCA data, 22 air proxies were reported during June 2011-April 2012 in which 11 cases were from the Chennai flight information region alone.
The data given by the DGCA in response to an RTI application shows that during the 10-month period, on an average two near miss incidents were being reported every month from the country`s air space.
The data shows that on five occasions, one or both aircraft involved were of Indigo airlines followed by Spice Jet.
A near miss may be caused by many factors, one being lack of coordination between the Air Traffic Controller and the pilot, one or both of whom could be working under conditions of extreme stress.
Another factor is the burgeoning number of flights flying in and out of the major airports, caused by the induction of numerous low-cost airlines.
For example, on an average day, the Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi handles over 700 flights, which carry more than 62,000 passengers.
In 2002-03, the same airport was handling only 77 flights a day.
According to the data, Delhi with five incidents of near misses and Mumbai with four remained at second and third places in reporting such incidents after Chennai.
The DGCA is the regulatory body for civil aviation in India and is responsible for monitoring pilots and ensuring safety of operations.
According to the data, on six occasions, the near miss incidents involved international airlines.
On two occasions, an Indian Air Force aircraft was one of the two planes involved in the incidents.