Aviation

Sydney airport shuts down after United Airlines mayday call

Sydney airport was locked down and nearby roads were closed after a United Airlines flight made a mayday call early this morning.

The pilot of the Boeing 787-9, which was on its way to Sydney from Los Angeles, was concerned about fuel levels after air traffic control placed the flight in a holding pattern because of heavy rain, according to News Corp.

Safety regulator Airservices Australia told the ABC the mayday call would have been triggered automatically because the plane’s fuel gauge dropped below a certain level and said this wasn’t “unusual”.

“It doesn’t mean you have no fuel left, and you have to land right away,” the spokeswoman said.

“You still have a lot of fuel left.”

United_Airlines_B763_N651UA (1)

Major roads around the airport were closed from 6:30am but reopened shortly afterwards.

News Corp reports the road closures were to allow passage for emergency vehicles, which were on standby just in case.

But in the air, the 239 people on board the flight had no idea anything was wrong.

A spokeswoman for Sydney airport told News Corp earlier reports that the mayday concerned leaking dry ice were false and said it would have merely been reported that there was dry ice on board.

“Every plane reports whether they have something hazardous on the aircraft and this was one holding dry ice,” she said.

The plane landed safely and roads were reopened at 6:39am.

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