PANAJI: Flight operations at Goa's Dabolim International Airport have resumed after they were temporarily suspended on Saturday afternoon after a detachable fuel tank attached to a MiG-29K aircraft got jettisoned inadvertently on the runway at about 1 p.m., spilling fuel and causing minor damage to the landing and take-off strip at .
"FLASH.... Flight operations resumed at @aaigoaairport @AAI_Official," an Indian Navy spokesperson tweeted.
While a few civil and commercial flights were diverted and some departures slightly delayed, emergency services were immediately pressed in to quickly re-operationalise the runway.
Earlier, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) Goa posted on its official Twitter handle: "Due to the jettisoned fuel tank on the runway during MiG sortie, the operations are closed for two hours at Goa airport. Pl bear with us."
In another tweet, the Indian Navy has also said that the dropping of the tank set a part of the runway on fire and that the MiG-29K aircraft and its pilot were both safe.
"Flash. #GoaAirport closed temporarily for a few hours in view of incident of fire caused by a drop tank of MiG 29K which got detached whilst taking off. All efforts in hand to resume flights ASAP. MiG 29K fighter ac is safe. @aaigoaairport @AAI_Official," the Indian Navy spokesperson tweeted.
"These are external fuel tanks outfitted to aircraft in order to enable them to cover more distance. One such tank attached to a MiG-29K got jettisoned off the jet during a sortie and had landed on the runway," the spokesperson told IANS.
The airport is operated from the Indian naval base INS Hansa located in the South Goa district.