Chetumal, Q.R. — Two local airlines were left circling the Chetumal International Airport Tuesday after being unable to land. A Viva Aerobus and Aeroméxico flight were delayed landing due to a flock of birds.
A flock of vultures chose the Chetumal runway for an afternoon siesta, preventing the two planes from landing. Pilots were made aware of the birds on the runway before they reached the airport, however, as they approached, the birds remained.
It was around 2:00 p.m. Tuesday when the first flight arrived at Chetumal and was forced to circle. The birds had taken up positions on the sides of the runway as well as the runway itself.
An emergency operation to scare the birds into flight was deployed on the Chetumal runway. However, while the birds were being motived to move, a second flight arrived.
Both planes were instructed to fly higher while ground crews worked to shoo the buzzards off the warm tarmac. The pilots were also made aware of each other sharing the same airspace while the ground situation was resolved.
Both planes circled above the Chetumal airport for nearly 30 minutes while airport crews below worked to get the birds to leave. Eventually, the Viva Aerobus flight, that arrived from Mexico City first, was granted permission to land followed by the Aeromexico flight.