Mumbai airport played host to a new guest recently. A Japanese Air Force aircraft made stops twice in the last week during its anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia, in the Horn of Africa, a peninsula in the north-east of the continent. The airplane landed in Mumbai to refuel as well as to allow its crew to rest.
This Japanese Air Force plane landed twice in the city last week during its anti-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia
The Japanese Air Force flight JAF 141, a C-130 Hercules military aircraft, first landed in Mumbai on July 9 (Thursday). The plane arrived at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport from Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. According to airport officials, the flight had 16 crew members.
“After landing at the city airport at around 10.45 am (on July 9) with 16 crew members, the aircraft was made to park towards the cargo terminal,” said an airport official. He further added, “In such cases, the Director General Of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) as well as the Air Traffic Control (ATC) are informed about these unscheduled flights to ensure smooth functioning.
It then departed for Djibouti the next day i.e. July 10. The plane is part of an anti-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia.” Djibouti, another country in the Horn of Africa, borders Somalia on the north-west. The same plane returned for the second time to the city on Saturday (July 11), this time arriving from Djibouti at 4.30 pm. After rest and refuelling, it then took off for Phnom Penh on Sunday morning.
Confirming that the plane had landed in Mumbai for refuelling and rest purposes only, a senior official from the Mumbai International Airport Ltd said, “The same aircraft that landed at Mumbai airport twice, departed on Friday and Sunday morning respectively. After completing the pre-flight preparations, the aircraft departed at around 8.06 am on Sunday.”