Sandhya Ravishankar / CNN-IBN
Tue, May 27, 2008 at 13:13 in Nation section
MISSING IN ACTION: Minutes before departure, the crew of Indian said the plane couldn’t be located.
Bangalore: You have heard of planes going missing in flight, but have you heard of a jet going missing at the airport? That’s exactly what happened at the new Bangalore International Airport on Monday.
Passengers at the newly opened Bangalore International Airport were in for a rude shock when the plane they were supposed to be flying in went missing!
They were waiting to board Indian flight IC915 to Hyderabad, but just fifteen minutes before departure, airline staff could not locate the plane. Indian’s crew then went hunting for the craft for 45 minutes.
One of the waiting passengers, Dr Ramesh said, “Just opening new airports is not enough. One needs people and systems in place. They made us wait for a good two hours for the ticket and then in the queue and then suddenly the signboard said the flight had departed.”
As angry passengers demaded to know if the flight had actually left, the hapless Indian staff had no answers.
Adding to the confusion, Air Traffic Control did not respond for over an hour, despite frantic calls by the ground staff. It took over an hour to finally locate the flight, which had apparently been waiting on the tarmac for the passengers to board.
Another passenger, Gangadhar said, “What’s the use of a grand opening of the new airport when everything is going haywire? Civil Aviation Minister, Praful Patel should be ashamed of himself for letting things go wrong like this.”
The incident has added to travellers’ unhappiness with Bangalore’s pride, the new International Airport.
Dr Ramesh said. “This is not an international airport. This is more like a bus terminus, I’m sorry to say.”