SYDNEY: A Jetstar and an AirAsia plane came dangerously close to a midair collision after taking off from the Gold Coast, China’s Xinhua news agency reported Australian authorities as saying.
The incident which happened on Thursday morning has prompted an investigation by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
It was reported that the AirAsia plane came within 152 metres of a Jetstar flight that was about to land, causing alarms to sound in both planes’ cockpits.
The minimum vertical separation for major passenger aircraft in Australia is 305 metres. The incident occurred north of Coolangatta airport in Queensland.
Jetstar pilots were forced to take evasive action as the AirAsia plane encroached on its flight path, putting their aircraft into a climb to avert a possible catastrophe.
A Jetstar spokesman told NewsCorp that pilots of their A320, which can carry 180 passengers took corrective action to restore the safe distance between the two aircraft and landed on the Gold Coast without further incident.
AirAsia representatives have yet to comment on the incident. The AirAsia A330 airbus involved in the incident was on its way to New Zealand from the Gold Coast. — Bernama