BBC News

Indonesia plane lands at Tabing not Padang


Indonesian officials have suspended a foreign pilot and launched an investigation after a passenger jet landed at the wrong airport.

The Sriwijaya Air jet had about 100 people on board when it took off on Saturday from Medan in northern Sumatra headed for the city of Padang.

However, it landed at the Tabing air force base, 12 km (seven miles) from its destination.

Indonesian officials said air safety practices would be investigated.

It is not known why the pilot chose to land at the wrong airport - only that he was in contact with the air traffic control at Minangkabau airport in Padang.

An investigation by the Indonesian aviation safety watchdog has been launched with air traffic control authorities.

Indonesia has a chequered history of aviation safety, although efforts have been made to improve standards over the last few years, the BBC's Karishma Vaswani reports from Jakarta.

Indonesia's transport ministry says the 96 passengers on board were never in any danger.

According to our correspondent, the ministry's spokesman said the landing was entirely normal - except for the fact that it was at the wrong airport.