US plane grounded at city airport for 33 hrs | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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US plane grounded at city airport for 33 hrs

A Bangkok-bound US chartered plane, carrying US marines among its 205 passengers, was ordered to land at the Mumbai airport on Sunday, reports HT Correspondent.

mumbai Updated: Oct 20, 2009 00:50 IST
HT Correspondent

A Bangkok-bound US chartered plane, carrying US marines among its 205 passengers, was ordered to land at the Mumbai airport on Sunday.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) authorities ordered it to land as it was flying over Indian airspace without getting the mandatory military clearance.

After being grounded for 33 hours, the Boeing 767 of North American Airlines, that had come from Fujiriah in UAE, was allowed by the IAF to continue its journey to Utapao in Bangkok.

The plane left the Mumbai airport on Monday morning.

IAF spokesperson, Wing Commander T. K. Singha, said, “The US aircraft was grounded at the Mumbai airport as they did not have the necessary permissions. The required set of permissions was later granted to them.”

Due to crew fatigue, they had opted for a night halt at Mumbai.

The aircraft with 205 passengers, including its crew, was made to land in Mumbai while flying over Indian airspace, as there was some confusion about its call sign, said the authorities.

Foreign military aircrafts have to obtain two sets of clearances before flying over India. The aircraft had civilian clearance from the Director General of Civil Aviation 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, the authorities explained.

The air traffic control at Mumbai granted them the required permission after the IAF cleared the aircraft, said a Mumbai airport official.