IAF aircraft caused PM’s security scare

April 23rd, 2008 - 8:08 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh
(Lead)

New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) An Indian Air Force (IAF) Dornier aircraft came in the flight path of a special aircraft carrying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh creating a security scare Tuesday, according to investigations by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) Wednesday. A mid-air security scare occurred when a blip or an “unidentified target” was reported on the radar by the air traffic controllers at the Indira Gandhi International airport even as the special IAF aircraft carrying the prime minister was about to land.

An emergency drill was quickly put in place on the ground while the air traffic controllers asked the pilot of the prime minister’s aircraft to hover over Delhi airport for nearly 16 minutes before giving clearance for landing.

But the investigations by AAI Wednesday revealed that the Dornier aircraft was flying “behind and above” the designated flight path for the prime minister and other special aircrafts, AAI sources said.

The investigators are also probing the radar functioning and whether it erred in detecting the flight parameters of the Dornier aircraft.

The IAF Boeing 737, with the prime minister on board, landed safely though 16 minutes behind schedule. The prime minister was returning to New Delhi from Jamshedpur in Jharkhand.

The prime minister Tuesday laid the foundation stone for the Rs.90 billion modernization and expansion project of the Bokaro Steel Plant.

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