Operations at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport’s main runway was hit for an hour on July 27 after airport staff noticed large piece of foreign objects scattered on the air strip.
A closer inspection of the objects later found them to be three pieces of the flap of an aircraft wing, following which air traffic controller was asked to divert aircrafts to other two runways.
“The left wing of the flap of a Cathay Pacific freight plane fell off while landing at the Delhi airport on July 27. The aircraft was a Boeing 747-400 and we have grounded the plane,” said an official of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
According the airport sources, the aircraft had landed on the 10-28 runway, which is the primary runway of Delhi airport. “It had then moved to the parking area without anyone noticing the incident. An inspection team of airport operators later noticed large objects and checked the last flight which had landed. Engineers of Cathay Pacific later confirmed that the objects were part of an aircraft’s wing that belonged to them,” said an airport official.
There was, however, no safety scare as the plane, which had come from Hong Kong, had landed safely and was taxing on the runway. The regulator has notified about the incident to both the aircraft maker Boeing and also to the US aviation safety agency, the National Transport Safety Board. DGCA has also notified the Federal Aviation Administration of the US.
“We are working closely with the relevant authorities and have launched an inquiry,” said Charlie Stewart-Cox, general manager -- South Asia, Middle East & Africa -- of Cathay Pacific.