Bonhomie makes India go soft

Bonhomie makes India go soft

“Because of the strength of the Indo-US relationship, the issue was quickly resolved,” Stuart Kowall, air attache at the US Embassy in India, told reporters here on the sidelines of an ongoing Indo-US air exercise.

On Sunday, a private US plane carrying United States  commandos from the UAE to Bangkok was forced to land in Mumbai after the Indian Air Force (IAF) discovered that the plane was using a civilian call sign despite transporting military personnel. According to international aviation norms, planes carrying military personnel and cargo should have a military call sign and take separate flying permission.

The United States plane used a civilian call sign, which means it did not take the necessary military clearances from the IAF despite ferrying US soldiers.

The plane was reportedly chartered by the USA armed forces to ferry soldiers from Fajullah to Bangkok for rest and recreation. The IAF cleared the plane on Monday.
This is the second incident of call sign violation by the US military in the last six months. In June, an AN-124—hired by US military—had transported US equipment and military personnel from Diego Garcia to Kandahar in Afghanistan.

That plane, run by a Ukrainian airlines called Volga-Dnepr, too, used a civilian call sign despite carrying a military cargo. The IAF compelled the plane to land in Mumbai where it stayed for two days for a thorough inspection. 

United States officials, however, refused to describe these incidents as “irritants” in the growing bonhomie between the two countries.