An unidentified blip on the radar of the Air Traffic Control (ATC) in Delhi caused a scare, leading to a delay in the landing of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s special aircraft at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on Tuesday evening.
The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has begun an enquiry into the incident, which led the ATC officers to ask the pilot of the Prime Minister’s aircraft to hover over the airport for about 15 minutes, sources said.
As the PM’s flight, which was coming from Ranchi neared the Delhi airport, the ATC identified a blip on the radar which appeared to be chasing the PM’s flight. Concerned over this, the ATC directed the flight to hover over for 15 minutes before allowing it to land on Runway 28 at the IGI.
Secretary in Civil Aviation Ministry, Ashok Chawla, said the PM’s aircraft landed safely after sometime and AAI was assessing the situation. “Nothing has been established as to what the blip in the radar was,” a ministry spokesperson said.
Asked as to what this blip could mean, AAI sources said that it could be an aircraft carrying a transponder on board which could be connected to the secondary radars on ground. However, the sources said this was not possible as it did not have a call sign, which any aircraft would have.