2 Jun 2010

Air NZ denies near-collision with Australian plane

9:35 pm on 2 June 2010

Air New Zealand is denying a report that one of its planes was involved in a near-collision in Fiji airspace last month.

The Fiji Times has reported that an Air New Zealand Boeing 767 and a V Australia Boeing 777 narrowly avoided colliding on 7 May.

The paper says it has been reliably informed that a collision was avoided when the planes altered course after crew visually sighted oncoming traffic.

It says a report estimates the Air New Zealand flight passed the nose of the other plane by two nautical miles, with a vertical clearance of 244 metres.

But Air New Zealand says there was no risk of a collision, as both aircraft were in communication with Nadi air traffic control and were aware of each other's location.

It says the pilots of both aircraft followed standard operating procedures to ensure separation was maintained.

Air New Zealand says it is discussing with Nadi air traffic control why both aircraft were cleared to be in a similar vicinity.