TECHniCAL SNAG Over 1,000 passengers stranded for four hours as 10 arrivals rescheduled
Over 1,000 passengers were stranded on the civilian side of the Lohegaon Air Base for up to four hours on Thursday,owing to an emergency with a Sukhoi aircraft at the IAF Lohegaon station. Civilian flight schedules at the Pune airport were disrupted from 10.30 am-2 pm. At least ten arrival flights were affected as cancellations and delays continued through the day.
We have been told that a Sukhoi got stuck on the runway while landing. The runway was unavailable for civilian flight operations between 9.15 am and 1 pm. As many as 10 arrivals had to be rescheduled, airport director PSRK Sudhakar told reporters after the runway was reopened for civilian flight operations.
Flt Lt T Ramesh Kumar,Air Force Station,Pune,said in a press note,Due to a problem in the Nose Undercarriage of a SU30 Aircraft,there was a runway blockage at 0915 hrs at the Pune Air base on 19 April 2012. The runway was cleared for all operations at 1300 hrs. Unusually,two Sukhoi-30 MKIs took off around 2 pm on Thursday from the Lohegaon airbase.
The runway and Air Traffic control of Pune airport is controlled by the two-wing IAF Lohegaon station. The airport operates around 76 arrivals and departures daily. Being an Air Force station,the Sukhois operate from 8 am-10.30 am and 7.15 pm-10 pm daily when the airfield is not available for civilian flight operations. The Sukhoi aircraft,stranded on the runway after it apparently developed a technical snag,resulted in 10 arrivals between 10.30 am and 2 pm being rescheduled or diverted to Mumbai airport. Three flights arriving from Delhi that were to fly back to the Capital,three Bangalore flights which were to depart to Delhi,Goa and Bangalore from Pune,one Hyderabad Goa flight and a Chennai flight were all rescheduled. Considering about 100 passengers a flight,over 1,000 fliers were stranded at the airport. Whether they would be put on other flights or given refunds is a decision individual airlines will take, added Sudhakar.
Scheduled flight arrivals and departures were affected through the day. Till 6 pm,10 departure flights showed major delays while four were cancelled. With regard to arrivals,eight flights were delayed and two cancelled. Flights to almost all prime destinations including Delhi,Chennai,Bangalore,Indore,Goa and Ahmedabad were affected.