Jet diverts to Shannon with sick passenger

Jet diverts to Shannon with sick passenger


Airport fire crews were standing by as a precaution – File Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

A transatlantic jet made an unscheduled landing at Shannon Airport in the early hours of the morning after a passenger fell ill.

Aeromexico flight AM-22 departed from Madrid, Spain shortly after 10.30pm (Irish time) last night bound for Mexico City in Mexica. There were 270 passengers and crew on board.

At around 1.00am, when then Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner jet was about 750 kilometres northwest of Shannon, the crew contacted air traffic controllers to advise them they wished to divert to Shannon with an ill passenger.

The flight crew had been in contact with controllers at the Irish Aviation Authority’s North Atlantic Communications Centre at Ballygirreen in Co Clare as it transited Irish airspace.

As the flight routed towards Shannon the pilot confirmed that they would have to dump aviation fuel to ensure the touched down within safe landing weight limits. The crew was cleared to carry out the jettison procedure which took several minutes.

In the meantime at Shannon, the airport’s fire and rescue service was placed on standby for the aircraft’s arrival. This is standard procedure at Shannon for an aircraft that has dumped fuel.

The National Ambulance Service was also contacted and dispatched ambulance paramedics to the airport.

The flight landed at 2.05am and was accompanied to the terminal by fire crews while paramedics were also waiting to assess the passenger. The patient was taken to University Hospital Limerick for treatment.

The flight continued its journey to Mexico at 4.50am.

On Tuesday, a multi-agency emergency operation was put in place at Shannon Airport after the crew of a corporate jet declared an emergency over the Atlantic west of Ireland.

Despite an emergency response being put in place at Shannon involving the airport’s own fire and rescue service; Clare County Fire and Rescue Service; National Ambulance Service; Gardaí and the Irish Guard Coast, the crew of Cessna Citation 750 later opted to divert to Bournemouth Airport in the south of England.