UFO sighting halts flight operations at Imphal Airport, triggers airspace alert

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Flight operations at Imphal Airport were halted for over three hours on Sunday afternoon following the sighting of an unidentified flying object (UFO) hovering above the airport.

The sighting was reported by a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel and by a pilot of an Indigo flight before his flight was about to depart around 2:20 PM local time.

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The object was described as white in colour and visible to the naked eyes. The object moved southwest of the airfield and was visible till 4.05 pm and disappeared thereafter with the onset of dusk.

Authorities immediately suspended all flight operations and closed the airport’s-controlled airspace.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) Eastern command activated an air defence mechanism “Mission Red & Mission Blue” and scrambled fighter planes to investigate the incident based on the inputs received. The small object was not seen after some time.

After conducting a thorough investigation, the IAF cleared the airspace, and flight operations resumed at around 6:00 PM.

The incident caused disruption to air travel, with two flights being diverted and three others being delayed. Passengers were left stranded at the airport for several hours.

The nature of the UFO remains unknown. An AAI official said “The UFO was visible from the terrace of ATC by ATS personnel, public, local police, airlines staff and CISF personnel and was unidentified to all the viewers.”

Authorities have not ruled out the possibility that it was a drone or another type of unmanned aerial vehicle. They have urged people not to spread rumors or speculate about the incident, and to wait for the results of the investigation.

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