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Monday, Aug 19, 2019

Stray dogs on runway force Air India flight to abort landing at Goa airport

The pilot of the Air India aircraft from Mumbai pulled up after he noticed a pack of stray dogs on the runway when the plane was about to land.

india Updated: Aug 13, 2019 22:49 IST
Gerard de Souza
Gerard de Souza
Hindustan Times, Panaji
The Indian Navy operates the Goa airport at Dabolim.
The Indian Navy operates the Goa airport at Dabolim.(HT PHOTO)
         

A pack of stray dogs on the runway of the Goa airport forced an Air India aircraft from Mumbai to abort landing and make a go-around early Tuesday, the Indian Navy which controls the air traffic at the airport said.

Despite the close shave, no one was injured in the incident that occurred at 3 am.

“AI 033 from Mumbai while landing in Dabolim at around 0300h on 13 Aug 19 reported to ATC dogs on runway and going around. The aircraft was recovered safely in second approach,” the Navy said in a statement.

The air traffic and runway controllers missed the presence of the dogs and gave the plane a go ahead for landing “since it was night,” the statement revealed.

“INS Hansa has taken proactive measures to reduce dog menace on runway with employment of manpower during daylight hours adjacent to runway to chase away dogs/birds,” the statement said.

The statement did not mention how many passengers were on board the aircraft.

Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat was the first to flag the issue in a tweet in which he quoted a friend’s experience who was a passenger on the flight. “Will DGCA take note of this serious lapse. Safety of Passengers put at risk. I urge @MoCA_GoI to take cognizance and act,” Kamat tweeted.

“The pilot aborted landing just as he was seconds away from touchdown. He went full throttle and took off again only to land again after a turn round of 15 minutes all while passengers speculating the causes. Upon enquiring with the pilot he explained that there were 5/6dogs on the runway. It was absolutely annoying. Would DGCA… explain now? It was very dangerous and there could have been a plane crash,” the passenger Govind Gaonkar said.

Director of Goa Airport Gagan Malik said he was not aware of the incident since the Airport Authority of India only controls the terminal and not air traffic.

First Published: Aug 13, 2019 20:26 IST

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