No flight operations at Mangaluru Airport in rain-poor visibility: Airport Director

Mangaluru, Aug 9, The Mangaluru international airport has suspended the flight operations while it rains owing to poor visibility thereby preventing planes from skidding. “As our airport is also built on the hillside with a table-top runway, flight operations are not allowed during heavy rains, as visibility will be poor and chance of skidding on the
runway is more,” said Mangaluru airport director V.V. Rao on Saturday evening. Rao’s observation came in the light of an Air India Express Boeing 737 from Dubai crash landing at the Kozhikode airport in neighbouring Kerala on Friday night after skidding on the table-top runway amid heavy rains, claiming 18 lives, including its 2 pilots. “In fact, an Indigo flight from Bengaluru earlier in the day was not given permission to land at our airport as it was raining heavily and visibility was poor though we have the instrumentation landing facility,” said Rao. “The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has implemented a slew of recommendations of the civil aviation regulator (DGCA) made on the basis of the inquiry report into the 2010 plane crash to ensure smooth take-off and safe landing of passenger and cargo aircraft on domestic and overseas routes,” recalled Rao. Before the Covid-19 induced lockdown was enforced on March 25 and extended since then, suspending passenger flights, the Mangaluru airport used to operate 30 flights daily, including
10 from overseas destinations like the UAE. “Though regular domestic and overseas flights remain suspended due to the pandemic, we have been operating cargo and chartered flights even during the lockdown, including repatriation
flights from the UAE by Air India Express to bring back stranded Indians and returnees under the Vande Bharat mission, launched by the central government,” Rao pointed out.