Update: Indigo flight from Patna to Kolkata had normal landing at Kolkata airport,flight was kept on hold due to air traffic. Misinterpretation by ATC controller led him to instruct fire engines&ambulances to be stationed at Kolkata airport. Captain at no stage declared a fuel priority or emergency. Fuel on arrival was more than minimum diversion fuel: Indigo on Mamata’s flight.
Update: DGCA to probe into 3 flights to Kolkata including one with West Bengal CM carrying low fuel.
Update: IndiGo Flight With WB CM on Board was short on Fuel, Sudip Bandyopadhyay of the TMC raises issue in Lok Sabha. When there is no fuel, its the duty of ATC to have allowed landing of Mamata Banerjee’s flight, her life is in danger, says Kharge from Congress.
However, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raj defends that it is wrong to say that the IndiGo flight was made to hover for 30-40 minutes. Security of passengers are their primary concern.
“The flight took off from Patna at 7.35 pm, an hour behind schedule, and landed in Kolkata at shortly before 9 pm, after hovering over 30 minutes in the sky due to technical reasons,” airport officials said, adding that such incident was nothing new in any airport.
Senior Trinamool Congress leader and state Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, who was accompanying Banerjee in the flight, however, took strong exception to “delayed permission from the ATC” for the flight to land and alleged that it was a conspiracy to eliminate the CM.
Hakim claimed that even as the pilot announced 180 km away from Kolkata that the plane would land within five minutes, it ultimately touched down after over half an hour, “seriously inconveniencing the chief minister and other passengers”.
“The pilot sought permission for landing from the ATC as the plane was flying short on fuel but the ATC kept the flight on hold,” he alleged.
“This is nothing but a conspiracy to kill our chief minister as she has raised voice against demonetisation and is touring the country to organise a mass movement against the anti-people decision,” Hakim said.
When contacted, a senior ATC official said he was not aware of such incident.