An IndiGo Srinagar-Delhi flight Wednesday “came in close contact with a mound of snow” at the Srinagar International Airport resulting in de-boarding of all passengers, officials of the airport and the airline said. They said the flight was “held back at Srinagar and the passengers were moved to another plane”.
A spokesperson of IndiGo told Greater Kashmir that the incident happened “adjacent to the taxi-way” where snow had accumulated.
“IndiGo flight 6E 2559 operating from Srinagar to New Delhi today was held back at Srinagar. While taxiing out, the aircraft came in close contact with the snow which was accumulated adjacent to the taxi-way” said the IndiGo spokesperson. As per the spokesman, an alternative flight was arranged to accommodate the passengers of the aircraft which came in close contact with the snow. “The aircraft is held at Srinagar for further inspections. An alternate flight was organised from Srinagar to Delhi to accommodate all the passengers” the airline spokesman said.
When contacted, Director, Airports Authority of India, Srinagar, Santosh Dhoke said the aircraft after coming in close contact with a mound of snow, was towed away and all 223 passengers were safely moved, Dhoke added.
When asked if there were still mounds of snow at the aerodrome which could prove to be fatal for aircraft operations, Dhoke said: “The area is shared between the Indian Air Force and the AAI. Since there was a heavy snowfall this year, the AAI and the IAF have cleared the runways but some of the snow had to be dumped in the area surrounding the area where aircrafts move.”
He said “efforts were being made to clear the snow for which dumpers are being used”.
Dhoke said the incident caused a delay of 1.5 hours in the flight schedule as a new aircraft had to be called from Delhi to ferry the passengers of the aircraft that had hit the snow mound.
Pertinently, Srinagar airport is under direct operational control of the Indian Air Force (IAF), which controls its air traffic and landing strip and also the facilities of fire-fighting and crash activities, apart from the airspace. The terminal building, where the passengers check-in and check-out, and the apron area, where an aircraft is parked are controlled by the AAI. The airport witnesses operations of 25 to 30 commercial flights every day.