Flights disrupted as cow enters Ahmedabad airport

Jeannie Matthews
January 14, 2018

In two separate incidents on Thursday, aviation safety was put to risk after a tractor was spotted near the Mangalore airport runway by the air traffic controller (ATC) before a Mumbai-bound aircraft could take off.

Sources said the cow entered through the gate near the cargo complex area, near the old global terminal, where there are lots of vehicles of airlines, persons handling cargo.

Airport director Manoj Kumar Gangal told this paper: "The cow was spotted around the operational area which is near the terminal building around 2.30 am". "I have asked the airport director to inquire [sic] into it and submit a report".

Officials said the flights were diverted for security reasons and a probe has been ordered to find out how the cow entered.

The freak accident occurred around 3 a.m., according to airport sources. Indian Airport authorities that human negligence may have had a role to play in this entire episode. "Directives have been given to take stringent steps to avoid any such occurrences in future", an AAI statement said.

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The incident has raised security concerns in the run-up to the high profile visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is scheduled to land in Ahmedabad on January 17.

Cows are often seen loose on the streets in most parts of India.

Cows are considered sacred for India's majority-Hindu population, and are known to roam free throughout the country.

It is not unusual for animals to get in the way of flights in India.

The official data shows that there were more than thousand incidents of bird strikes and animal colliding with planes happened at various Indian airports in 2017.

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