A US military transport plane diverted to Shannon Airport early this morning after declaring an emergency over the Atlantic.
The United States Air Force Lockheed Hercules C130J aircraft was making its way to Ramstein in Germany after making a technical stop at St John’s in Newfoundland.
At around 6.15am, while the turboprop aircraft was still west of Ireland, the pilot declared an emergency and requested clearance to divert to Shannon Airport. Air traffic controllers were told the emergency alert was caused by a ‘pressurisation’ issue with the aircraft which had six personnel on board.
Aircraft with pressurisation issues usually descend to 10,000 feet or lower to protect passengers and crew from medical problems than can result from a aircraft not being adequately pressurised.
Emergency procedures were implemented at Shannon with the local authority fire service, National Ambulance Service and Gardaí all being alerted and requested to deploy resources to the airport.
Units of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service from Shannon and Ennis stations were dispatched to the airport along with two ambulances, a paramedic response car and local Gardaí.
The flight landed safely at 7.03am and was followed along the runway by airport and local authority fire crews who also accompanied the aircraft to its parking stand.
A routine inspection of the runway was carried before the next inbound flight was cleared to land. This was to ensure there was no debris left behind by the landing aircraft.
Operations at the airport were not affected during the emergency.