Airports, Civil

Flying object spotted again over runway

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Flying object spotted again over runway

A balloon-like object was spotted flying over an operational runway at the IGI airport on Sunday evening, creating panic among air traffic controllers. However, the object disappeared before the ATC radar could capture it.
A Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel deployed at one of the watchtowers spotted the object flying over runway 29. He informed this to the ATC who further asked DIAL to make arrangements to bring down the object.
“It looked like a white balloon floating over the runway. Authorities and security agencies were roped in to bring it down immediately. However, before anything could be done, the object vanished. Adjoining areas were scanned but nothing suspicious was found,” said a senior CISF official.
Officials said a major disaster was averted since the runway was operational when the object was spotted. “At times, even a small thing can affect a flight’s operation. The object could have contained dangerous elements, which might have damaged a plane and endangered lives. A strict vigil is being maintained near the runway and airport area,” said an airport official.
According to a standard operating procedure (SOP) released by Delhi Police in January this year, cops can shoot down anything suspicious flying over the capital and especially in and around the airport. The SOP covers para gliders, drones, hot air balloons and anything that is unidentified. However, it also states that police will have to consult the Air Force and NSG before taking any action.

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