Dan Air accuses air traffic control of ‘endangering the safety’ of passengers

Air traffic controllers
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A dispute has been ignited on social media between Romanian low-cost carrier Dan Air and air traffic control firm Romatsa.  

The disagreement between the two aviation companies centers around a Dan Air flight on June 24, 2023, from Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD) to recently opened Brașov-Ghimbav International Airport (BRV).  

According to posts on Dan Air’s Facebook account the carrier is unhappy that its aircraft, flight DN288, was made to wait in bad weather conditions, while another plane was permitted to take-off. 

Dan Air claimed this was against regulations which allow for aircraft in adverse weather conditions to be given priority.  

In a post on social media the Romanian airline said that the actions of air traffic controllers “endangered the lives of Dan Air” passengers aboard the Airbus A320. 

This and an incident on June 23, 2023, reportedly involving a bird, led Dan Air to threaten to cease operations at the newly opened airport, however the airline has since committed to continue operations from BRV. 

On June 26, 2023, Romatsa released a press statement defending its decisions to let the HiSky flight leave first.  

Romatsa described the accusation that controllers “endangered” passengers as false and at no time was the “safety of passengers of flight DN288 Madrid-Brasov-Bucharest endangered”. 

“The HiSky flight departing from Brașov at 5:50pm according to the submitted flight plan was subject to regularization by the Eurocontrol Network Manager (NM) due to capacity issues at Antalya airport. Thus, the time calculated by NM for take-off from Brașov airport was 18:28. Both air traffic control and airlines must comply with these measures managed at European level by Eurocontrol (according to regulation (EU) 2019/123),” Romatsa said in the statement.  

Romatsa argued that “if flight DN288 had been in a critical situation, it would have been able to declare an emergency and would have had priority in landing”. 

Romatsa said that the Dan Air flight did not fall into any of the categories that require priority landing at that time. 

“Daily, the traffic controllers provide safe services for approximately 3000 aircraft, without any incidents and without delays imputable to Romatsa,” the statement ended.  

On June 27, 2023, Dan Air issued another Facebook post in reply to Romatsa’s statement.  

The airline argued that its aircraft was waiting to land for “more than 15 minutes in dangerous weather”. 

Dan Air also rejects the interpretation made by Romatsa regarding under what safety circumstances an aircraft can be given special permission to land.  

The information in this article relied in part on Google translate.  

AeroTime has written to Dan Air and Romatsa for comment. 

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