Stray dogs spotted on the runway at Goa's Dabolim airport prompted Air India pilots to abort landing a plane early morning on Tuesday, according to a passenger. The passenger, in a Facebook post, said the pilot was "seconds away" from landing the plane, when he "went full throttle" and delayed landing for about 15 minutes, until the coast was clear.
A statement from the Defence spokesperson said airport officials did not see the stray dogs on the runway because of "night hours".
"AI 033 from Mumbai while landing in Dabolim at around 0300h on 13 Aug 19 reported to ATC dogs on runway and going around. The aircraft was recovered safely in second approach. Being night hours no dogs were sighted by ATC (Air Traffic Controller) and runway controller," the statement said.
"Passengers speculating the causes...Upon enquiring with Pilot...he explained that there were 5/6 Dogs were (sic) on runway...It was absolutely annoying..." the passenger, Govind Gaonkar, said in his post.
A screenshot of the post was tweeted by former Goa Chief Minister and leader of opposition in the Goa assembly, Digambar Kamat.
"Will DGCA take note of this serious lapse? Safety of Passengers put at risk. I urge @MoCA_GoI to take cognizance and act. @goacm," he said in the tweet.
"INS Hansa has taken proactive measures to reduce dog menace on runway with employment of manpower during daylight hours adjacent to runway to chase away dogs/birds," the statement from the defence spokesperson further said.
INS Hansa is an Indian naval air station located near the Dabolim airport.
The sterilisation and relocation of up to 200 dogs from near the runway will be undertaken after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the state government, the statement added.