Mangaluru, Mar 12, 2018: Poor visibility and weather characterized by thick fog disrupted flight operations at Mangaluru International Airport (MIA) for at least two hours on Sunday.
Three inbound flights from Bengaluru and one from Hyderabad were diverted back to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) due to what V V Rao, director, MIA, said were low-flying clouds and fog that developed over the runway due to extreme humid conditions. Pilots chose to return to KIA rather than err on passenger safety, he said.
Two Jet Airways and as many SpiceJet flights were affected due to this uncharacteristic weather condition, Rao told TOI. “The pilots decided not to take a chance with the poor visibility, and chose to return to their originating airport,” Rao said, averring that humidity could have led to foggy conditions developing. The flight operations returned to normal around 11am and the diverted flights returned to MIA after getting clear weather reports from the IMD, he noted.
Minister U T Khader, who was scheduled to arrive by one of these flights, said that the pilot circled the airport a few times and aborted the landing at the last moment. “After a while I realized was that the flight had landed back at KIA,” he said, adding that he returned to Mangaluru in a later flight.
“Perhaps given the weather conditions, the pilot did not want to take a chance landing at MIA,” Khader said, adding the delay led to cancellation of his events here.