According to officials, normal flight operations were disrupted at Manipur’s Imphal International Airport on Sunday afternoon due to the sighting of an unidentified flying object (UFO), news agency PTI reported. Two flights were diverted, while three others were delayed. Services became normal after about three hours. Taking up the issue, the IAF’s Eastern Air Command said: “The IAF activated its air defense response mechanism based on visual input from Imphal Airport. The small object was not sighted thereafter.”
Eastern Air Command IAF tweeted, “IAF activated its air defense response mechanism based on visual input from Imphal Airport. The small object was not sighted thereafter.” https://t.co/wRO6Kvh7fU pic.twitter.com/E2DwO4oM4v
– ANI (@ANI) 19 November 2023
A statement issued by airport director Chipemmi Keishing said, “Due to the sighting of an unidentified flying object within the Imphal controlled airspace, two flights have been diverted and three departing flights have been delayed. “Flight operations will start after getting approval from the authority.” PTI in its report.
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An Air Traffic Control (ATC) official said that at around 2.30 pm they received a communication from CISF that a UFO had been detected near the airport. “By 4 pm the UFO was visible to the naked eye moving towards the west of the airfield,” the official said.
One of the diverted planes was an IndiGo flight from Calcutta, which was asked to “pause overhead” before being redirected to Guwahati after 25 minutes.
On the other hand, the delayed flights departed from Imphal airport three hours after permission was granted.
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According to the source, the Eastern Command of the Indian Air Force in Shillong was informed about this news.
Manipur shares an international border with Myanmar in the east, and also shares borders with Nagaland, Mizoram and Assam.