SIA investigates pilot flying into BD airspace without clearance number

- A Monitor Desk Report 28 May, 2020 | 673 Views|-+
Dhaka: Singapore Airlines is investigating an incident that involves a pilot flying into Bangladesh airspace and not being able to provide a clearance number requested by air traffic controllers in charge of the area.

The flight SQ326 departed from Singapore for Frankfurt and transited Bangladesh airspace at 3:15 pm (Singapore time) on May 19, the airline said on May 25.

The flight was routed via airspace under control of Dhaka Air Traffic Control (ATC) to avoid Cyclone Amphan, which has killed at least 84 people in India and Bangladesh.

SIA said this routing was indicated on the official international flight plan, and that it had overflight permission from the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh.

An additional Air Defence Clearance (ADC) number is issued by Bangladesh for each flight, added SIA, but the pilot did not have this number to hand.

"When Dhaka ATC requested for confirmation of the ADC number, the pilot did not have it immediately available as it had not been retrieved through the flight planning process before the flight departed Singapore," the airline said in a statement.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh said in a notice published on December 17 last year that its Air Defence Identification Zone is a "first line of defence against aerial intrusions into Bangladesh airspace as this is vital to the national security".

But SIA said Bangladeshi authorities have not been in contact regarding the incident.

"SIA will, however, proactively launch an investigation into this oversight and tighten its procedures to ensure that there is no repetition," concluded the airline.

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