Flight diverts to Shannon with ill passenger

Flight diverts to Shannon with ill passenger


A transatlantic passenger jet diverted to Shannon Airport after the crew declared a medical emergency off the northwest coast this morning.

Turkish Airlines flight TK-3 was travelling from Istanbul in Turkey to JFK International Airport in New York at the time. There were 351 passengers and a crew complement of 17 on board the Boeing 777-330(ER) jet.

At around 10.10am, while the flight was about 100 kilometres northwest of Mayo, the crew contacted air traffic controllers to confirm they had an ill passenger on board and needed to divert to Shannon to seek medical attention.

The flight turned around and began to route towards Shannon. The crew had to dump aviation fuel en route to Shannon to ensure they touched down within safe landing weight limits.

On the ground, the National Ambulance Service was alerted and requested to dispatch paramedics to the airport. Shannon’s own fire and rescue service was also alerted.

Fire crews took up positions adjacent to the airport’s runway in advanced of the aircraft’s arrival. The flight landed safely 10.38am and was pursued along the runway by airport crews. It’s standard procedure at Shannon for airport fire crews to be alerted when an inbound aircraft has dumped fuel prior to landing.

The flight landed safely 10.38am and was met at the terminal by airport authorities and paramedics. The passenger was assessed and treated at the airport before being transported to University Hospital Limerick for treatment.

The flight resumed its journey at 12.25pm.

With the longest runway in Ireland, Shannon is regularly used a diversionary airport for emergencies. The airport has handled over thirty emergency landings or other unscheduled arrivals over the past twelve months. Almost half of these were medical emergencies.