It has happened again! It was a repetition of what happened on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, the Chennai-bound Alliance Airliner, a subsidiary of Air India, with just 26 passengers developed some technical snag, reportedly vibrations, ten minutes after taking off from the Visakhapatnam airport around 9 a.m. and had to return to the airport. All passengers were safe. But they were extremely angry and upset because Saturday was Deepavali and they were eager to reach homes at the earliest. That authorities made alternative arrangements was a different matter.

The three incidents on three consecutive days have cast a shadow on the reputation of Visakhapatnam airport. In all the three incidents, it was a technical problem and neither the Visakhapatnam airport - which is aspiring for the status of an international port - nor the Air Traffic Control, being handled by the Navy, have anything to do. The aircrafts, all Canadian Regional Jets, leased by Alliance Air, developed technical snags only when they took off from Visakhapatnam. “It was just a coincidence that the incidents took place at the same airport,” said a baffled officer at the airport. They were flying in the Delhi-Vizag-Chennai route. Five airliners operate from Visakhapatnam airport and the number of daily flights is 14 with a monthly passenger air traffic which hovers around 50,000. Will the developments in the last three days have any affect on passenger traffic from Visakhapatnam airport? It is anybody’s guess.

Air Travellers Association (India) president D. Varada Reddy said maintenance aspect and the perception of the pilot for whom the safety of the passengers is of topmost priority, could be the possible reasons for returning few minutes after take off.

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