Turkey Earthquake: India's C-17 Plane Carrying Relief Aid Avoids Pakistan's Airspace
Turkey Earthquake: Indian Air Force has clarified that the C-17 plane carrying relief material avoided Pakistani airspace as per standard operating procedure.
Update: The Indian Air Force clarified that as per standard operating procedure, its aircraft have avoided flying over Pakistan. "Our aircraft don't fly over Pakistan as this is our standard operating procedure. Our planes take a longer route by flying from the Gujarat side to avoid Pakistani air space while going towards Europe or West Asia," an IAF official said.
As per a media report, Pakistan has denied its airspace access to the Indian Air Force aircraft travelling to Turkey for relief operations. On February 6, 2023, Turkey and Syria were jolted by a 7.9-magnitude earthquake, one of the most devastating earthquakes in the history of West Asia. To help Turkey in the relief operation, Indian govt promised to send for medical aid as per as NDRF (Indian National Disaster Response Force) teams. India deployed its biggest cargo plane in the service, the Boeing-made C-17 Globemaster. The first of these planes landed in Adana airport with modern drilling equipment, medics and rescue dogs.
However, as per a CNN-News18 report, the IAF had to take a detour because of Pakistan denied permission for the flight to use its airspace. There were 5 back to back earthquakes within two days, resulting in more than 4,800 deaths. Over tens of thousands injured and thousands trapped under the rubble of dilapidated buildings.
This is not the first time Pakistan has stopped an Indian plane from accessing its airspace for sending humanitarian aid to nations. It is to be noted that India has to fly over the Pakistani airspace to reach countries in the West, including Turkey, Ukraine, European Nations among other countries.
In 2021, Pakistan prevented India from using its territory in the aftermath of the Taliban taking over Afghanistan. During Covid-19 rescue ops to bring back Indians stuck in Europe, India undertook a massive drill called Mission Vande Bharat.
Pakistan denied flights from India to use its airspace and airlines had to take a longer route to reach the west, resulting in increased time and fuel consumption.