Flights diverted, repairs on at Goa runway

Panaji, Oct 27 (IANS) Three flights, including a chartered plane, were diverted from the Goa airport Wednesday due to an oil spill on the runway, an official said.

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. Navy officials say the runway would be fully operational only by Friday.

Dabolim airport director D. Paul Manickam said repair work was on at the runway and the oil spill 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.

‘The reduced declared distance however has put restrictions on bigger aircraft, including the Boeing 747,’ a statement issued by the naval authorities said.

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