Dabolim airport director D. Paul Manickam said repair work on the runway, where a major petroleum spill occurred Saturday night, had reduced its length from 11,000 ft to 6,900 ft. "Three flights were diverted in the morning. After the spillage on the runway, repair work is still going on, which has reduced its length. The visibility was also not good," the senior Airport Authority of India (AAI) official said.
The three flights were a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Goa carrying 127 passengers, which was diverted to Bangalore; a Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Goa that was sent back to Mumbai; and an Amsterdam to Goa chartered flight carrying 324 passengers that was diverted to Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Airport sources said the pilots decided against landing the planes at the Goa airport for safety considerations. A tanker carrying 6,000 litres of aviation fuel had Saturday night overturned on the runway of the airport which is run by the Indian Navy.