Federal officials are investigating why an Allegiant Air passenger jet nearly ran out of fuel before landing at an airport that was temporarily closed to most traffic.
Allegiant said Tuesday it is cooperating with the Federal Aviation Administration’s investigation of the incident.
The Allegiant plane with 144 passengers landed safely last Thursday at Hector International Airport in Fargo, North Dakota, after a flight from Las Vegas.
While the Fargo airport was the flight’s intended destination, it was temporarily closed for practice by the Navy Blue Angels flying team.
An air traffic controller can be heard telling an Allegiant pilot that his company should have known about the closure, according to audio captured by the website LiveATC.net. The Allegiant pilot said he didn’t have enough fuel to reach another airport.
When the controller said there would be a window to land in Fargo in 20 minutes, the pilot responded, “I don’t have 20 minutes.”
In a statement emailed to The Associated Press, Allegiant did not say whether it knew about the temporary closure at the Fargo airport.
“At this time, we are coordinating with the FAA and the airport to investigate all channels of communication regarding the flight and the circumstances leading to the declaration of emergency,” the Las Vegas-based airline said.
The airline, a subsidiary of Allegiant Travel Co., focuses on flying from smaller airports to vacation destinations such as Las Vegas and Orlando, Florida.