Emergency alarms sound as Emirates and Etihad planes 'come within 25 SECONDS of collision' while flying over Arabian Sea
・Incident occurred over the Arabian Sea in Mumbai Airspace
・A Resolution Advisory alarm is sounded if within 25 seconds of collision
・Both Emirates and Etihad say safety of passengers was not compromised
・Indian officials are now investigating the incident as it was in its airspace
By JOHN HUTCHINSON FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 12:10 GMT, 1 April 2015 | UPDATED: 14:44 GMT, 1 April 2015
Two passenger jets allegedly came within 25 seconds of a mid-air collision over the Arabian Sea.
One of the carriers involved, Dubai-based Emirates, referred to the apparent near-miss as an 'air traffic control incident' in a statement on Wednesday.
Neither the Dubai carrier nor Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways would say how close the two planes came to each other. However a Resolution Advisory (RA) was given to both planes, which means the distance between the two aircraft could have resulted in a collision within 25 seconds.
The incident occurred on Monday as passenger planes from Emirates and Etihad Airways were traveling in opposite directions between the Gulf and the island nation of Seychelles.
Both carriers have recently rerouted flights to the archipelago nation to avoid Yemeni airspace due to fighting there.
Emirates says its flight EK709 was returning from the Indian Ocean island nation of Seychelles when the incident occurred in airspace controlled from Mumbai, India.
Etihad Airways separately says it is investigating 'a reported incident' involving one of its planes traveling in the opposite direction.
Both carriers insist safety was not compromised.
Indian news broadcaster NDTV report that there was 'an emergency warning by the planes' on board collision avoidance systems,' and that both pilots reported the incident to Mumbai air traffic controllers.
A Traffic Advisory (TA) is sounded to an aircraft when they are within 40 seconds of traffic in a particular airspace.
Following this an RA is then given out if an aircraft is at risk of collision within 25 seconds, and the pilot has six seconds to respond.
The Seychelles News Agency confirmed both planes received a ‘Resolution Advisory’ or RA, from the on-board Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS).
An Etihad Airways spokesperson told MailOnline Travel: 'Etihad Airways has strongly rejected claims that the safety of flight EY622, Abu Dhabi to the Seychelles, was compromised.
'The traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS), which is fitted on all aircraft, ensured that safe vertical separation of both aircraft was maintained at all times.
'Etihad Airways has provided its safety reports to the GCAA and is assisting with its investigation as well as conducting its own investigation into the incident.
'Safety is Etihad Airways' number one priority.'
A statement released by Emirates to the Times of India read: 'Emirates can confirm that flight EK 706 on March 29 from Seychelles to Dubai was involved in an air traffic control incident in Mumbai airspace. At no point was the aircraft, passengers or crew at risk.
'All Emirates aircraft are equipped with onboard instrumentation so that crew are alerted in a timely manner of all surrounding traffic. The crew informed the authorities of the incident and later filed an Air Safety Report, which will be forwarded to Mumbai Air Traffic Control. Safety is of paramount importance to Emirates, and we will be cooperating fully with the Mumbai Air Traffic Control in the subsequent investigation.'
Emirates and Etihad have both grown rapidly in recent years, enticing long-haul transit passengers through their Gulf hubs aboard relatively young aircraft.
Emirates is owned by the government of Mideast commercial hub Dubai, while Etihad is controlled by the oil-rich Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi.
Both carriers are regulated by the Emirates' General Civil Aviation Authority, which had no immediate comment. They each operate multiple flights weekly to Seychelles, a tropical tourism destination that has built close ties to the Emirates.
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