NEW DELHI: An AirAsia India flight to Delhi had to abort its take-off at Goa airport on Sunday after a dog entered the runway when the plane was readying to depart, an official said.
Flight I5778 was set to depart around 8.25 am, the official of the Airports Authority of India said.
"The dog, once spotted by the Air Traffic Control, was immediately removed from the runway. The flight then departed at around 9.15 am," the official added.
Commercial airline companies in Goa operate their planes from the civil enclave of INS Hansa, an airbase of the Indian Navy.
Chief of Safety of AirAsia India in a statement said that as a stray dog was spotted on the runway, Goa ATC cancelled the takeoff clearance of I5-778 scheduled to operate between Goa and New Delhi.
"The aircraft had just commenced its takeoff roll. The sighting was confirmed by Goa ATC and has since also been reported to DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation)," he said.
The same aircraft and crew thereafter operated after a delay of 40 minutes, he said.
"AirAsia India regrets the delay caused on account of this to any guest travelling onboard. We state that we place safety foremost and the delay was caused due to reasons beyond our control," he added.
AirAsia India currently has a fleet of 22 aircraft covering 19 destinations across the country.
The Indian Navy spokesperson on Twitter said, "At about 0825 hours today, when AirAsia flight 778 was rolling for take-off at Goa airport, alert ATC spotted a dog entering runway and immediately informed pilot who aborted take off. The flight departed 0915 hours after additional technical checks."
The spokesperson added, "INS Hansa has proactively taken steps to relocate dogs from the vicinity of the runway.
Under an MoU of IndianNavy with the Department of Animal Husbandry, nearly 60 dogs have been relocated since mid-August.