The flight arrived from Sharjah with as many as 115 passengers around 2.10 am. The pilot of the Air India Express detected the snag when the passengers were about to board the plane at 3.20 AM, they said.
The 103 passengers were accommodated in a city hotel, while technicians attended to the snag with spare-parts flown in from Thiruvananthapuram, an airline spokesperson said.
The problem was rectified, and the plane left for its onward destination at 3 PM after a delay of about 11 hours, the officials said.
Meanwhile, another Air India Express flight bound for Singapore was delayed for more than nine hours. The original scheduled departure time of the flight was 4 pm on Friday but it departed only at 1 am on Saturday.
Frequent fliers say several incidents involving Air India Express, in the last few weeks, have led a dent on the airline’s credibility. “There is a safety concern among passengers flying on the Air India Express as technical snags are being reported frequently,” sources said.
On October 12, 136 passengers onboard a Dubai-bound Air India Express plane had a miraculous escape when one of its wheels hit the compound wall of the airport here while taking off.
Land acquisition process for airport expansion to be expedited: Panel
The airport advisory committee meeting, which met here on Saturday, resolved to expedite the land acquisition process to expand the Tiruchy International Airport (TIA).
The expansion plan, floated much earlier, had not taken off due to challenges in acquiring the required land, with several residents filing court cases. Following the deliberations on Saturday, however, it has been decided to hold another meeting with the district administration and revenue department officials to break the impasse.
As part of the move to upgrade the airport, the existing runway measuring 8,236 feet was to be extended to 12,000 feet. A land parcel of 345.62 acres was slated to be acquired by the State government.
According to sources, two special tahsildars were appointed to facilitate the land acquisition process. Around 67 settlements were made, while 35 individuals have taken to the court opposing the project. However, airport officials have expressed confidence that the issue would be resolved soon.
Officials, who took part in the meeting, said the instrument landing system (ILS), which was damaged during the recent take-off accident, has been repaired. The ILS is expected to be used after a calibration team from Delhi inspects it, they said, adding that the team is likely to arrive on October 29.
Airport Director K Gunasekaran, RDO Anbazhagan, Assistant Commissioner of Police K Kodilingam, Airport Advisory Committee President and MP P Kumar and Tourism Minister Vellamandi N Natarajan participated in the meeting.