Four pilot training Cessna aircraft belonging to the Andhra Pradesh Flying Academy and a copter owned by the State Government were gutted in a fire accident at the old Hyderabad airport at Begumpet in the early hours of today.

Although the exact cause of the fire is not known, airport sources said an electric short circuit in one of the aircraft triggered off the fire, which was followed by a minor blast as the fuel tanks of the aircraft blew up.

“The entire hangar belonging to the flying academy was damaged,’’ S.R. Santhanam, President of the Airport Authority of India Employees’ Union, who visited the hangar, told Business Line at the airport.

The old airport is used by the State Government, Defence and private companies owning aircraft. An average of 1,500 aircraft use the airport in a month.

Santhanam said the union had been asking the government to resume commercial operations at the airport, as it had adequate infrastructure.

An official team from the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation is expected to arrive here and conduct a probe as to the exact cause of the fire. The State Government may also institute an inquiry of its own.

amitmitra@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 18, 2012)
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