AirAsia India Airbus A320 Aborts Takeoff Due To Dog On The Runway

An AirAsia Airbus A320-200 aborted its take-off on Sunday (01/09/19) due to a dog appearing on the runway. The flight from Goa to Delhi was delayed by 50 minutes while the aircraft’s braking systems were checked.

AirAsia A320 on apron
The latest canine runway incursion at Goa brings fresh calls for action. Photo: AirAsia

Reports Aviation Herald, Flight I5-778 was cleared to take off at around 08:25 local time. The A320 (registration VT-IXC) began rolling but its crew was instructed to abort a few seconds later. The A320 rejected the take-off at a relatively low speed and returned to the apron.

Following normal procedure, the flight crew assessed the effect of the aborted take-off on the aircraft’s systems. After 50 minutes the plane was again cleared to take-off, and this time did so successfully.

Flight I5-778 landed at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport just 30 minutes behind schedule. Writes News in Flight, a spokesman for Goa airport said,

The dog, once spotted by the Air Traffic Control, was immediately removed from the runway.

Goa Dabolim

Goa’s Dabolim civilian airport operates within an Indian military base called INS Hansa. The airport is jointly used by civilian and military jets. With over seven million passengers passing through the terminal each year the airport’s airside aprons suffer severe congestion.

AirAsia A320 in flight
Civilian and military operations at Goa create air-side havoc. Photo: AirAsia

A second airport is in the process of being built in Mopa, north of Dabolim. The Indian government intends this airport to become the main civilian hub for Goa’s burgeoning tourist trade, thereby easing congestion at GOI.

Dabolim will continue to receive civilian passengers.

An investment in the old airport of around Rs.4 Bn (US$60 million) is set to improve the passenger facilities by the provision of a larger terminal and more adequate parking. Whether the expansion works will also include better perimeter security is yet to be seen.

Stray dogs

The sight of dogs on Indian runways is all too common. In 2018, the Directorate of Civil Aviation identified at least 20 airports that were at risk of canine incursions. At all 20 of these sites, animals could enter freely through perimeter barriers.

Passenger safety at these sites was deemed to be compromised by the number of animals accessing the operational areas.

On August 13th, a similar incident at Goa was reported by Aviation Herald. This time an Air India Airbus aborted its landing due to the pilot’s reporting a group of dogs on the runway.

AirAsia A320 on taxiway
The presence of dogs on runways in India raises concerns. Photo: Kentaro Iemoto from Tokyo, Japan [CC BY-SA 2.0]
The flight crew of the A320-200N Flight AI-33 from Mumbai to Goa performed a go-around due to the animals being on the ground, although the Tower Controller did not see the dogs. The aircraft landed safely on the second attempt.

According to reports, there are an estimated 200 dogs in the vicinity of the airfield.

In response to public concern about the safety of passengers arriving and departing at Goa, the AAI revealed their intention to be more pro-active.

Writes Daily News India, a government spokesperson said, “INS Hansa has taken proactive measures to reduce dog menace on the runway with the employment of manpower during daylight hours adjacent to runway to chase away dogs/birds.

The sterilization and relocation of up to 200 dogs from near the runway will be undertaken after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the state government.”