Missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 ‘Deliberately Diverted’ Towards Andaman and Nicobar Islands: List of Unused Airports Where the Plane Possibly Landed [Photos]
By Gopi Chandra Kharel | March 14, 2014 11:01 PM EST
The missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 was deliberately diverted towards Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal, sources familiar with the Malaysian probe told Reuters.
In a detailed description of military radar plotting, sources told the news agency that the unidentified aircraft that investigators suspect was the missing Aircraft, appeared to be headed into the Andaman Sea and towards the Bay of Bengal. [READ: Missing Flight MH370 Hijacked; Was it Flown to Pakistan?]
The last plot on the military radar tracking system suggested that the plane was flying towards the area. This could be done by either flying the Boeing 777-200 aircraft manually or by programming the auto-pilot.
A third source told the agency that authorities were dwelling on the theory that someone who knew how to fly a plane deliberately, diverted the flight with 239 people onboard.
If the information reported happens to be credible, we need to determine the places where the plane could have landed.
There are three airports in the area that have no airline service and one which has the service. Another one unused airstrip is in the Great Coco Island of Burma. Let us look at where the plane could have possibly landed.
1. Campbell Bay Airport (VO94):
Campbell Bay located on the island of Great Nicobar, the largest of the Nicobar islands in the eastern Indian Ocean, some 190 km to the north of Sumatra has a small airport. Although the satellite pictures show the single runway to be too small; given the scenario, the plane could have landed there.
2. Car Nicobar Air Force Station (CBD):
This 37 Wing Air Force Station at Car Nicobar is spread over an area of 504 acres. The 3,000-feet bitumen runway was built by the Japanese during their occupation of these islands between 1942 and 1945. The runway was later extended to 8,886 feet by the Indian Air Force in 1967.
3. Shibpur Airstrip (IN 0053):
The third option is the Shibpur Airstrip. Shibpur is a village located on North Andaman Island of the Andaman and Nicobar islands in India. There is a 1 km long Indian Navy Airstrip next to the village. The MH370 could have possibly landed here as well
4. Vir Savarkar International Airport:
The airport, commonly known as the Port Blair Airport, located 2 km south of Port Blair, is the main airport of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The airport has a single runway of 3,290 metres in length that can accommodate most narrow-body aircraft, that inclues Airbus A320, Airbus A321 and Boeing 737. It wouldn't have been difficult for the MH370 to land here.
5. Great Coco Island Airport:
There is also a small runway in the Great Coco Island, which is not part of India. The Coco Islands are part of Yangon region of Burma. Some sources say that this is a Chinese military airbase although there are so sign of military shelters or missile systems nearby.
On both sides of the airstrip there are houses, suggesting the runway is not regularly used.
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