| GEO World|
| 21-minute blackout at Mumbai airport affects flights|
| Updated at: 2320 PST, Thursday, June 17, 2010|
MUMBAI: Air Traffic Control at the Mumbai airport lost all contact with 19 aircraft either in the air or readying for take-off for 21 minutes on Tuesday after a power cable got snapped during digging near the runway, reported the Press Trust of India Thursday.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation and Mumbai International Airport Limited, which is modernizing and developing the city airport, have instituted an inquiry into the incident which has posed a great danger to the planes, the news service said quoting unnamed sources.
There was a total blackout and the radar screen at the Air Traffic Control went blank for 21 minutes precisely, making the controllers almost blind-folded, said the report.
An underground power cable got snapped during the digging close to the runway resulting in a short circuit. The Uninterrupted Power Supply system also tripped, while VHF communications system, which works on battery sets, also failed, said the report.
There were four flights in the landing process while 15 were readying for departure when the incident had happened, according to the report.
The Mumbai International Airport Limited has set up an inquiry, said the report.
A passenger plane of Air India crashed on May 22 in the southern Indian city of Mangalore, killing 158 people.
Pilot error and difficult features of the airport runway were believed to be the causes of the crash.