Flight operations disrupted for 3 hours after UFO sighted near Imphal airport
Imphal: The northeastern state of Manipur was put on alert and air space over its capital Imphal was temporarily suspended for three hours after an unidentified flying object (UFO) was spotted near the airport’s runway on Sunday. All flight operations at the Bir Tikendrajit International (BTI) airport were suspended for over three hours and over 500 passengers stranded with the IAF Eastern Command activating an air defence mechanism following sighting of the UFO.
While two incoming flights were diverted, three -two Air India and one Indigo- were delayed. The air services resumed at 5.30 pm after receipt of clearance from competent authority, Imphal International Airport Director Chipemmi Keishing stated in an official statement.
As per official sources, a very small drone was spotted by security personnel at Imphal Airport on Sunday afternoon.
At around 2.30 pm, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) received a message from the CISF control room about the UFO sighting over the terminal building which later moved towards south above the ATC. It then remained stationary there for sometime. It was visible till 4.05 pm and then disappeared. An alert was issued to other agencies at the airport and operations were postponed till security clearance. The flight operations resumed at 5.30 pm.
Meanwhile, taking to social media, the IAF Eastern Command in an X post confirmed the sighting. “IAF activated its Air Defence Response mechanism based on visual inputs from the Imphal airport. The small object was not seen thereafter,” the post read.