Air traffic remains disturbed following crash landing
LAHORE: Air traffic at the Allama Iqbal International Airport remained disturbed on Saturday following a crash landing of a Pakistan International Airline’s (PIA) flight (ATR 653) coming from Islamabad on Friday. The main runway could not be cleared for the jumbo and 777 aircrafts as the damaged aircraft had not, until the filing of this report, been removed from the runway.
The Airport Aviation Services Department was engaged in removing the damaged aircraft and said that they hoped to complete the task by 8pm (Saturday), so that the runway could be made functional for larger aircrafts.
Most of the Lahore-bound international flights, on Saturday, were diverted to Karachi or Islamabad airports, however, small planes continued operating on the airport’s alternative runway.
The airport’s closure for larger aircrafts caused a lot of hassle for the travellers as London and Dubai-bound flights were cancelled and Lahore-bound flight from Manchester was made to land in Karachi.
Talking to Daily Times, the officials at the Aviation Services Department of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that the suspension of air traffic caused big monetary losses for the airport administration. The suspension also dealt a severe blow to the national flag carrier’s business, as flights, both national and international, had to be stopped or diverted to other destinations.
Meanwhile, the aviation authorities as well as the PIA investigation team continued with their fact-finding mission and in addition to collecting other evidence, interrogated the PIA flight’s pilot, Captain Faheem, and the first officer, Hanif.
Reasons for the accident are being investigated, however, initial investigations, based on statements from air traffic control (ATC) and the pilot, have revealed that the pilot attempted to land the plane some 450ft higher than the touchdown point.