Cargo flight makes emergency landing at KIA

The freighter aircraft (FX-5032) landed safely at 8.49 pm on Thursday, a Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) spokesperson told DH. However, there is no clarity yet on the nature of the technical problem. Investigations are underway. (DH File Photo)

Facing a technical snag, a scheduled FedEx cargo flight from Dubai made an emergency landing at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) here on Thursday night. Runway operations were suspended for a while, triggering flight disruptions and playing havoc with passenger plans.

The freighter aircraft (FX-5032) landed safely at 8.49 pm on Thursday, a Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) spokesperson told DH. However, there is no clarity yet on the nature of the technical problem. Investigations are underway.

The flight had taken off from Dubai at 3.43 pm local time and was in the air for over three and half hours before the technical snag was noticed. The same flight had landed without any issues the 8.56 pm on Wednesday and at 8.54 pm on Tuesday, according to FlightTracker24.

Before the aircraft touched down on Thursday night, all operations on the airport’s lone runway was suspended. As other incoming flights hovered above awaiting permission to land, emergency vehicles, fire tenders and other equipment were on high alert.

The runway was closed for 20 minutes from 8.34 pm to 8.54 pm. “During this period, eight arrivals and seven departures were delayed, while one flight was diverted to Chennai,” the BIAL spokesperson said.

However, the cascading effect on this suspension disrupted the schedules of several flights beyond midnight. A SpiceJet flight from Mumbai was scheduled to land at 9.55 pm, but was delayed way beyond an hour. Another flight from Mangaluru landed only after midnight.

The disruption also affected flight arrivals from Delhi, Kochi, Mangaluru and Pune. Hundreds of passengers were kept waiting at the originating airports for hours. At KIA, the terminal building was packed with passengers wondering what had happened.

KIA currently has only one runway and any emergency landing can be highly disruptive for normal operations. A second runway is now being built. But trials on this runway are likely to start only in September before becoming fully operational.

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