Friday, February 25, 2022

Kolkata: Skydiving show in Maidan may delay incoming flights tomorrow afternoon

Kolkata: Flights arriving at Kolkata airport during a 30-minute window on Saturday afternoon will be kept on hold and guided away from the Maidan to ensure that Indian Air Force paratroopers participating in a skydiving exercise don’t face any possible danger.

Initially scheduled on December 16 to commemorate Vijay Diwas that honours martyrs in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, the programme was pushed back after chief of defence staff Bipin Rawat died in a helicopter crash on December 8. On Saturday, a scaled down event will be held with Akash Ganga, the IAF sky diving team, putting up a show.

An Mi-17 helicopter from Barrackpore will climb to an altitude of 10,000 ft over the Royal Calcutta Turf Club in the Maidan. The paratroopers will then leap out and attempt to land in a patch of green inside the race course.

This exercise will take place between 1.50pm and 2.20pm. During these 30 minutes, flights that are scheduled to arrive at Kolkata airport from the Rajarhat side will be kept on hold and asked to hover over the city while avoiding the airspace over and around the Maidan.

A notice to airmen (NOTAM) has been issued warning pilots that have flights approaching Kolkata airport on Saturday to steer clear of the exclusion zone and also be prepared to hold over Kolkata.

25/02/22 Subhro Niyogi & Tamaghna Banerjee/Times of India

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