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What is a Diversion?

A diversion is the act of flying to an aerodrome other than the intended destination, with the intention of landing there.

Why do aircraft divert?

  • Weather at planned destination is below the minima prescribed by an operating company for their aircraft.
  • Obstructions on the landing area which constitute a hazard to aircraft landing (snow banks, WIP, intruders etc)
  • Failure of airborne equipment
  • Failure of essential ground aids (ILS during Low Visibility, lighting at night)
  • Unacceptable delay due to congestion of traffic
  • Closure of the destination aerodrome

  • Who decides to divert?

    Usually, the pilot decides if the aircraft is to divert or not. Sometimes, the airline operator may make the decision. It is very rarely left to ATC to decide if the aircraft diverts or not.