A collision between two airplanes, one carrying more than 140 passengers and the other with a VIP on board, was averted at the airport here on Thursday.

According to informed sources, the passenger plane bound for Chennai had hardly taken off at about 10 a.m. when a non-scheduled chartered flight made an attempt to land on the same strip.

When the captain of the passenger plane noticed the approaching chartered flight, he alerted the Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower and moved away. Airport sources said the captain of the chartered plane should have landed behind the passenger plane, the sources added.

Airport sources in Chennai said the ATC had given clearance for passenger plane to take off and the private operator’s flight to land on runway 09. But the private operator started descending at the other end of runway 09, which is actually runway 27. The flights narrowly avoided a collision, sources added.

Talking to The Hindu over phone, Airport Director K. Sangiah Pandian conceded that there was an incident but refused to divulge details till the AAI conducted a preliminary investigation.