Mangaluru: A Mumbai-bound Jet airways flight, all set for take off from Mangaluru International Airport (MIA), was asked to abort its flight after alert Air Traffic Control (ATC) officials spotted an unmanned tractor parked at the end of the runway, thereby averting a possibly major calamity here on Thursday, January 11.
The plane, which was due for take off at 11:30 am had taxied to one end of the runway but was asked to abort after the ATC spotted the tractor - deployed for grass cutting purposes at the far end of the runway. Moreover, no one was inside the tractor at the time.
Speaking to newskarnataka, Airport Director V V Rao said that the news is being misreported by a few media houses. "The tractor was not parked on the runway but was parked at the far end. The flight was cleared for take off within three minutes," he said.
Meanwhile ANI News has quoted an ATC source as saying, "Though the entire stretch of the runway is not made use of by planes, a parked vehicle on the runway is nothing but a breach of safety protocol."
It may be recalled that in the year 2010, a major tragedy had occured here killing around 158 persons onboard an Air India Express plane after it fell off the cliff here, having overshot the runway during landing.
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