AUA and airport at war over emergency landing alarm

Austrian Airlines (AUA) have attacked Innsbruck Airport officials for sparking a major alarm after an aircraft had to carry out an emergency landing yesterday (Sun).None of the 47 passengers on the Dash 8-300 of AUA’s charter firm Austrian Arrows were injured when its pilot returned to the airport after technical difficulties with one of its engines shortly after take-off around 6.30am.Michael Braun, a spokesman for the carrier which was taken over by German firm Lufthansa in September, said: “This is a routine manoeuvre pilots exercise many times.”Around 250 ambulance rescuers and firemen rushed to the airport after authorities raised the alarm when the pilot informed the tower of his decision to return.”None of the passengers or residents of Innsbruck were in danger at any point,” Braun stressed. He added: “We don’t understand why the airport decided to raise a major alarm. This was definitely not necessary. One of the plane’s engines are often turned off during a flight. The Dash is one of the safest planes of its category.”Innsbruck fire brigade chief Markus Wimmer today defended the decision as a “measure of precaution”.The unharmed passengers were served breakfast at the airport before flying to the Croat island of Lošinj in another plane around three hours after the emergency landing.Technicians are meanwhile expected to present an expert opinion about the incident after they examine the Dash aircraft.