In response to a report in the Times of India (TOI), Singapore Airlines (SIA) released an official statement today stating that the pilots of a flight to Mumbai did not try to land in the wrong airport.
The TOI report yesterday claimed the pilots of flight SQ422 mistakenly made an approach to land at Juhu airport – used by helicopters and small aircraft – instead of Chhatrapati Shivaji airport, the primary international airport in Mumbai. The report said the aircraft changed its course after the error, and after a go-around it landed on the correct runway of the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport.
The Singapore-Mumbai SIA flight, an Airbus A350, was scheduled to land on Runway 9 at the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport at 10.35am (1.35pm, Singapore time) yesterday. A total of 245 passengers and 14 crew members were on board the flight.
SIA, in its statement, said the landing was aborted at about 1,000 feet due to poor visibility, in accordance with standard operating procedures.
"The ATC Mumbai then vectored the flight for a subsequent approach onto runway 09 and the flight landed uneventfully at 1044 hours. At no time did the pilots of SQ 422 mistake Juhu airport as Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport," it said.
The ATC source, however, said that the SIA flight was asked to do a go-around as the aircraft was noticed "moving towards Juhu airport runway."
The two runways are about 1km apart and the Mumbai air traffic control has an alert on this for all pilots, the Times of India said. The Juhu airport has a shorter runway than the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport, and landing on the wrong runway would have resulted in an overrun, it added.