Staff Reporter

KOLKATA: The United Arab Emirates Air Force aircraft, detained at the Netaji Subash Chandra Bose International Airport here on September 6 for carrying undeclared arms and ammunition, took off on Thursday morning, after clearance from the Ministry of Defence, R. Sreenivasan, director of the airport, told The Hindu.

Defence sources said a routine check was conducted again by Customs officials, following which the Indian Air Force filed a flight plan for the aircraft and gave it the clearance to resume its journey to Xianyang in China.

The aircraft was not escorted by any IAF aircraft, as was said earlier, the sources said.

The detection of undeclared arms and ammunition on board the C130 Hercules aircraft caused a flutter. The UAE authorities did not declare them when they sought permission for transit stopover here. After the aircraft was detained, the nine crew members were interrogated.

The Ministry of External Affairs took up the matter with the UAE. The clearance was issued after the UAE tendered a formal apology.