India Reaches out to Nepal to Help Clear Blocked Runway
In a fantastic display of coordination and synchronization between the Indian Air Force (IAF), Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), an Accident Recovery Kit was airlifted from Delhi to Kathmandu to remove the Turkish Airlines airbus that blocked the runway at Kathmandu following a landing accident.
The request for assistance was received at about 1900 hrs at Air HQs on 04 Mar 15. The Operations Staff at Air HQ and at the Hindan based C-130J Unit swung into action and planning continued till late in the night. In the wee hours of 05 Mar 15, the Accident Recovery Kit had already been brought in by Air India from Mumbai to Delhi and by 0515 hrs, the loading of the kit into the C-130J had started. Whilst the loading was underway, the technical crew of Air India arrived from Mumbai by flight. The customs and immigration formalities of these personnel was organized by the Air Force authorities at Palam.
The synchronization between the various elements of the government machinery worked to such perfection that the C-130J was airborne at 1107 hrs for Kathmandu, with 7.5 Tone of load and 11 technical crew from Air India.
The C-130J was chosen for the mission not only because of its load carrying capacity and range but also its capability to land on restricted surfaces. The usable runway length at Kathmandu had been reduced to only about 5000 ft, which made it impossible for any commercial aircraft to land.
The operation not only highlights the efficiency of the government machinery but also the governmentâ€™s resolve to help friendly foreign nations in distress.