Panaji: A major tragedy was averted at Goa's Dabolim International Airport early on Tuesday after an Air India passenger aircraft flying in from Mumbai was forced to abort landing at the last minute because of stray dogs trespassing into the runway, a statement issued by the Indian Navy said. The Indian Navy controls the air traffic at the airport.
According to the statement, the dogs were not sighted by the Air Traffic Control staff because it was pitch dark.
"AI 033 from Mumbai, while landing in Dabolim at around 3 am on August 13, reported to ATC (about) dogs on runway. The aircraft was recovered safely in second approach. Being night hours, no dogs were sighted by the ATC and the runway controller," the statement said.
The Dabolim International Airport is the state's only airport and is operating out of the Indian naval base INS Hansa located near the port town of Vasco in South Goa.
The statement issued by the Indian Navy also said that "proactive efforts" were being undertaken to reduce the stray dog menace near airport's runway.
"INS Hansa has taken proactive measures to reduce dog menace on runways with the employment of manpower during daylight hours adjacent to the runway to chase away dogs and birds. Additionally, a MoU has been signed with the state government under which they are to sterilise and relocate up to 200 dogs from the vicinity of runway," the statement added.