Two passenger jets, one of them a Singapore Airlines (SIA) Airbus on a flight from Brisbane, came close to a collision over Australia's Northern Territory.
Air traffic control cleared a Jetstar Airbus A320 flying from Darwin to Brisbane, to climb through the SIA A330's altitude, causing a "loss of separation" incident on Thursday afternoon, news.com.au reported.
This means there can be a risk of collision, with planes flying within 305m vertically and 9.26km horizontally of each other.
But such incidents are not rare and, on average, there is one every three days over Australia alone, an air safety official was quoted as saying.
"Some of them... even though they're close, things are still under control," said team manager Mark Walker of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which is investigating the incident.
Following a spate of high-profile incidents, the bureau released a 114-page report last October, into loss of separation cases between June 2008 and June 2012, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
In almost 90 per cent of cases, the bureau said there "was no or a low risk of aircraft colliding". Only about six cases a year "represent an elevated safety risk".
The bureau has not revealed how close the two planes came to each other on Thursday, and is not expected to release a final report into the incident until November.
This article was published on April 26 in The New Paper.
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