Did Singapore Airlines miss… an airport?
On December 4, 2017 Singapore Airlines aircraft missed the runway of Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport instead heading off for a much smaller airport nearby, according to the local ATC. Singapore Airlines, in turn, deny that such incident occurred.
The pilot allegedely mistook the assigned runway 9 at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport and flew towards the Juhu airport before being corrected by ATC, the Times of India reported, quoting a source at Mumbai airport:
"The Singapore pilot was in touch with the Mumbai air traffic control and the flight was supposed to make an approach for runway 09 of the Mumbai airport. As the aircraft flew over the Arabian Sea and came close to Mumbai, the pilots saw the Juhu runway and headed for it," the source said.
The Juhu airport is at a close proximity (1km) and is used for general aviation, as it has much shorter runways than the neighboring Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Thus, for a passenger plane, like for the Airbus A350 in question, landing at the general airport would pose a threat of potential overrun.
But Singapore Airlines claim that the flight SQ422 never intended to land in Juhu or mistaken the airport for Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. According to the statement by the airline, the approach to land on runway 9 was postponed because of bad visibility as “due to the early morning sun in their eyes, the pilots were not able to maintain the runway approach lights visually”. The plane made a go-around and landed on the right runway “uneventfully” fourteen minutes later.