SIA: Pilots aborted landing due to poor visibility

SINGAPORE • Pilots of a Singapore Airlines (SIA) plane were forced by poor visibility to stop heading towards a runway at India's Mumbai International Airport yesterday, the airline said.

It was refuting an Indian newspaper report that claimed the pilots had tried to land on the wrong runway of a nearby airport in India.

SIA said in a statement that Flight SQ422 was scheduled to land at 10.35am, Mumbai time, on Runway 9. But owing to poor visibility, the crew of the Airbus 350 discontinued the approach at about 1,000 feet, which is according to standard operating procedures.

Mumbai's air traffic control then directed the plane - with 245 passengers and 14 crew members on board - for a subsequent approach onto the same runway and it "landed uneventfully" at 10.48am, SIA said.

The airline said that "at no time did the pilots of SQ422 mistake Juhu airport as Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport".

The Times of India newspaper, citing an unnamed source, claimed the plane from Singapore was in touch with air traffic controllers to land at Runway 9, but after flying over the Arabian Sea, its pilots saw the Juhu runway and "headed for it".

The runways of Juhu and Chhatrapati Shivaji airports are about 1km apart, reported the newspaper. Juhu is used by helicopters and training aircraft and has a shorter runway.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2017, with the headline 'SIA: Pilots aborted landing due to poor visibility'. Print Edition | Subscribe