Local air transport authorities are assuring that the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) remains fully operational, following the emergency landing of NASA Flight 426 earlier today.
In a statement, the Ministry of International Transport said that shortly after departing GAIA at 6:18 this morning, a distress call was received from the pilot of the four-engine P3 aircraft, which was on its way to the Ascension Islands when one of its engines caught afire.
At the time of the incident there were 20 passengers onboard the aircraft, which was undertaking operations on behalf of NASA, the statement said.
“The pilot indicated that the plane would dump fuel to lose weight with estimated time of arrival (ETA) at GAIA of 7:15 a.m.
“It was decided the aircraft will hold for two hours as it had 11hrs. 45mins of fuel on board and the new ETA was 9 a.m.,” the statement added.
However, the aircraft was able to carry out a successful landing at 8.31 a.m. and following an inspection, the runway was declared fit for operation, and an emergency stand down was given at 08:42 a.m.
“The Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) remained operational during the incident and remains fully opened,” the statement added.