Vietnam’s aviation authorities are investigating an incident in which a civil and a military aircraft almost crashed above Tan Son Nhat airport as the latter was ordered to take off seconds after the former.
Do Quang Viet, deputy head of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV), told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Wednesday that Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation has informed him of the near collision at the Ho Chi Minh City's international airport on October 29.
Viet said the administration would meet with officials from Vietnam Air Force on Friday to discuss the cause of the problem, the paper reported.
A Tuesday statement from the air control company said Vietnam Airlines’ Airbus aircraft received an order to take off for the central town of Hue at 11:42 a.m., but nine seconds later, a military officer also ordered for a helicopter to take off. Four military helicopters were undergoing a training session at Tan Son Nhat at the time.
A source from Vietnam Airlines said their aircraft was at 500 feet (around 152 meters) high when they saw the military helicopter crossing around 200 feet (61 meters) ahead.
Viet said the military air controllers had not followed safety protocols and not cooperated well with the civil colleagues.
“If they want their aircraft to cross the departing lines of civil aircraft, they have to notice the civil air controllers first. In this case, they failed to do so,” he said.