AIR NEW ZEALAND DISPUTES NEAR-MISS IN FIJI

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Says both planes were aware of proximity

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 2, 2010) – Air New Zealand is denying reports one of its planes was involved in a near collision in Fiji airspace last month.

The Fiji Times has reported that 600 people were on board an Air New Zealand B767 and a V Australia Boeing 777 when they narrowly avoided colliding on May the 7th.

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

It says a file report estimates the Air New Zealand flight passed the nose of the V Australia plane by two nautical miles with a vertical clearance of 800 feet.

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 onboard both aircraft followed standard operating procedures to ensure separation between the planes 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.

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