The pilot and co-pilot of an Air India flight have been suspended after landing on the runway being newly developed at Velana International Airport.
Citing officials of Air India, Indian newspapers stated that the pilot and co-pilot of an Air India Airbus A320 have been taken off the duty roster after landing on the wrong runway at Velana International Airport. They are investigating it as a very serious issue, the media reported.
The Maldivian government has also stated that they are investigating the case very seriously as the flight landed on the new runway while construction work was going on.
During the landing, carrying 136 people from Thiruvananthapuram, the flight’s tires were slashed and a huge piece of cloth was wrapped around the landing gear. The cloth bearing a big cross on it was laid on the tarmac, indicating that the runway was closed.
The flight has now been towed and taken to the parking area.
While the airlines have not been given the permit to land on the new runway a senior official of the airport said that they are investigating the case and that it is highly unlikely that the problem occurred due to a miscommunication from traffic control.
All the airlines have been informed of the construction of the new runway, and they were also informed that the runway is not yet ready for use, the official said.
Although the main work on the runway had been completed, the runway is set to open sometime during December. However, the government is trying to land test flights on the new runway on September 23.