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Planes diverted to Kadena after F-4 incident at Naha

Date Posted: 2008-09-19

An F-4 Phantom fighter landing at Naha International Airport blew a tire, coming to a safe stop but blocked approaches to the runway and forcing air traffic controllers to divert all incoming aircraft to Kadena Air Base.

Military and commercial aircraft were kept from Naha International Airport for more than five hours following the September 11th incident, affecting 95 flights and 15,240 passengers. Four Japan Transocean Airline, All Nippon Airlines and Japan Air Lines flights landed at Kadena, where they were kept on the aircraft for more than 3 hours before getting the green light for a brief local flight to Naha.

The Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transport said the airport was closed to allow ground workers to scour the runway and adjacent taxiways to remove pieces of the shredded Japan Air Self Defense Force aircraft tire. All outbound flights from Naha were delayed during the five-hour incident.

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