An unidentified flying object (UFO) near Imphal Airport caused disruptions to flight operations, with two flights being diverted and three delayed. The incident occurred around 2 pm when air traffic controllers and ground staff spotted the UFO, prompting the airport authorities to close the airspace and halt all flight operations. Approximately 1,000 passengers were affected by the closure.
In response, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) handed over control of the airspace to the Indian Air Force (IAF), who subsequently gave the clearance to resume commercial flight operations. The closure lasted for over three hours, causing significant inconvenience to passengers.
The three flights that were scheduled to depart were instructed not to take off, while two incoming flights were diverted to Kolkata and Guwahati. However, due to the night-landing capability of Imphal Airport, the diverted flights are expected to arrive tonight. The airport director, Chipemmi Keishing, confirmed the sighting of the UFO and assured that all flights took off after receiving security clearance.
Passengers voiced their frustration, with some being stranded inside the airport or aircraft for over three hours. However, they were provided with food before the flights eventually departed around 6.15 pm.
According to a senior airport officer, the UFO was described as “fairly large” and was observed flying for more than an hour. The incident remains under investigation, and authorities are working to determine the nature and origin of the unidentified flying object.