A Bangkok-bound chartered US plane in which US marines were among the 205 passengers was ordered by authorities to land at Mumbai airport on Sunday for flying over the Indian airspace without getting the mandatory military clearance.
After remaining grounded for a few hours, the Boeing 767 plane belonging to North American Airlines and on a flight from Fujiriah in the UAE to Utapao in Bangkok was allowed by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to resume its flight following a probe.
IAF spokesperson Wing Commander T.K. Singha said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) would decide when the plane would take off.
But due to the pilot’s flight duty time limitations, the aircraft is not likely to take off before Monday.
“A US aircraft with 205 passengers, including its crew and US troops on board, was made to land in Mumbai while flying over Indian airspace as there was some confusion about its call sign,” a Mumbai airport official said.
Singha told PTI in New Delhi that the transport aircraft had “civilian clearance from DGCA to fly over Indian airspace. However, it was carrying military personnel, for which the aircraft should have obtained Air Operation Routing clearance needed for a military aircraft.”
Foreign military aircraft have to obtain two sets of clearances before flying over India.
Once the aircraft entered Indian airspace, the IAF ordered it to land in Mumbai, to which it complied with, Singha said.