Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Amma's funeral: VIPs make 3 flights miss Chennai

Pilots of three aircraft, low on fuel, had to ditch landings at Chennai airport and touch down at different airports after instructions by Air Traffic Control (ATC) to wait their turn to land as airspace over the city was busy with chartered and scheduled flights carrying VVIPs heading to pay homage to former chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chief ministers of some states and VVIPs from various parts of the country arrived in Chennai between 11.30 am and 1.30 pm by chartered and scheduled aircraft to attend Jayalalithaa funeral, airport officials said.

This compelled ATCs to ask pilots of some scheduled flights to circle the airport before receiving permission to land. But the pilots of two IndiGo aircraft and a Sri Lankan Airlines jet decided to make for other airports.

A senior AAI official said a Mumbai-Chennai IndiGo flight sought permission to land at Chennai at 12.50 pm. As there was VVIP movement at the airport, ATC asked the captain of the flight to remain airborne till the VVIP aircraft received clearance to depart. The aircraft, however, was not carrying adequate fuel and its pilot set off for Hyderabad's Shamshabad airport.
06/12/16 P Oppili/The Times Of India
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