External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s plane went off radar for 14 minutes causing panic among the authorities.
Sources from the Air Traffic Control (ATC) told that the flight couldn’t contact the Male ATC after which the Mauritian air traffic control declared an emergency alert.
“Indian Air Force Flight IFC31 carrying Ms. Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs departed from Trivandrum at 1408 IST for Mauritius. Aircraft changed over from Indian airspace to Male ATC which then established contact with the aircraft at 1644 IST. However, IFC 31 could not contact Mauritius ATC after entering Mauritius airspace. Mauritius ATC then activated INCERFA (the uncertainty phase). Later at 1658 IST, IFC 31 came in contact with Mauritius ATC and landed,” a spokesperson from Airport Authority of India said.
“Mauritius ATC activated INCERFA (uncertainty phase) without allowing the stipulated time period of 30 minutes to lapse from the time when aircraft last contacted ATC. This was perhaps done because the flight was carrying VIP,” the spokesperson added.