An IndiGo flight that was about to touch down at Chandigarh International airport Saturday aborted its landing after a last-minute alert from Air Traffic Control (ATC) about a stray dog on the runway. ATC personnel instructed the pilots to abort landing and go-around.
In aviation terminology, go-around is when an aircraft is asked to gain altitude, take a round of the airport till the runway is clear for landing. IndiGo’s flight 6E3816 Delhi-Chandigarh was on its final approach towards the runway around 7.45 am when the aircraft was asked to abort the landing. As many as 99 passengers were on board.
The aircraft, sources said, was allowed to land only after the runway was cleared. “The pilot apologised for the inconvenience caused to the passengers. He announced that ATC had spotted a dog, following which the landing was aborted,” said a passenger.
A senior IndiGo official also confirmed to Chandigarh Newsline that the flight went on a go-around after an “obstacle” was spotted on the runway. “The aircraft landed in the second attempt safely,” he said.
The Chandigarh International airport terminal in Mohali is guarded by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Punjab police personnel. The runway, however, is under the control of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
A western air command based in New Delhi termed the incident as “not so big” and said the “ATC personnel are maintaining vigil to prevent such incidents.”
An airline official expressed concern over the incident. “This was spotted early. What will happen if an animal manages to reach the runway in the evening or when there is low visibility due to fog,” said the official.
The Mohali Taxi Union has taken up the issue of the stray dog menace around the airport with the Mohali Municipal Corporation.
“A large number of stray dogs keep roaming near the arrival, parking and other areas of the airport. We have also written to the Mohali MC about this problem. We are yet to hear from them,” Inderjeet Singh, who heads Mohali Taxi Union, which operates at the Chandigarh airport.