IndiGo flight with WB CM Mamta Banerjee on board short on fuel creates ruckus in Lok Sabha
Kolkata,Dec1:Trinamool Congress lawmaker Mukul Roy has said that an IndiGo flight from Patna to Kolkata, which he was travelling in along with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday evening, was short on fuel as it circled over Kolkata airport for nearly half an hour.
Mr Roy says IndiGo flight 6E 0342, on landing at 8:45 pm in Kolkata, was surrounded by fire engines and ambulances.
“On landing the sight of airport ambulances and fire engines was worrying. While I was told that this was because the aircraft was low on fuel, the Air Traffic Control (ATC) is denying that the pilot had informed them about being low on fuel. That’s why as chairman on parliamentary standing committee on tourism and aviation I will ask the civil aviation minister and chairman of airport authority to carry out a probe,” he said.
Mr Roy said the Patna-Kolkata flight took off from Bihar’s capital after an hour’s delay, and added that near Kolkata the pilot announced that due to congestion the flight will have to circle the airport and is eighth in queue for sequential landing.
“I was told on landing that the pilot had informed the ATC around 8:13 pm that the aircraft was low on fuel. Still the flight landed at 8:45 pm. Which means a flight with West Bengal Chief Minister on board was in air despite being low on fuel,” he said.
Mr Roy said that the order of precedence clearly states that the chief minister of a state is only after the prime minister and a flight with a CM on board has to be given priority.
The Kolkata airport authority officials, who did not want to be quoted, said that the issue is being looked into and claimed that the flight wasn’t kept in the air too long.
When the flight reached Kolkata, due to bad weather and air traffic congestion the pilot was asked to circle over Kolkata airspace for around half an hour. The pilot then informed the Kolkata ATC that he was low on fuel, following which priority landing was given to the flight, sources said.
As per Standard Operating Procedures, emergency services like fire engines and ambulances were sent when the flight landed, sources added.
IndiGo is yet to respond to the incident and the details provided by the Trinamool lawmaker.