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A business jet carrying Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was forced to make a go-around while landing recently at Delhi airport as an IAF aircraft had still not cleared the runway, airport sources said today.
Aviation regulator DGCA is probing the November 26 incident when the Cessna Citation jet carrying Gandhi was asked by the air traffic control (ATC) to abort landing and go around as a large IL-76 aircraft of the air force, which had just landed, was still taxiing on the tarmac.
Gandhi's plane, which was returning from Rae Bareilly, went around and landed safely later, the sources said. There was no safety threat to the business jet. It was asked to go around, which is a normal safety-related manouevre," they said.
It was estimated that the jet would be able to land after the heavy-lift Illyushin-76 'Gajaraj' vacated the runway, which did not happen, the sources said.
Sequencing of planes for landing is done by the ATC which also accords priority for those carrying VIPs, the sources said, adding that the pilots of the jet had announced on the open channel that they were carrying a VIP.
Gandhi's business jet was given a gap of eight kms as against six due to the heavy-lift nature of the IAF plane, considering it would take more time to clear the runway, the sources said, adding that the IL-76 took more than the estimated time to do so.
The DGCA is probing the incident to ascertain whether there was any lapse on part of the IAF aircraft or the jet, or even the ATC, the sources said.