- Dept of Homeland Security dismissed landing rights of US for the charter plane, carrying over 100 Americans from Afghanistan
- The plane had been sitting for 14 hours at Abu Dhabi airport after arriving from Kabul with 117 people, including 59 children
- US President Joe Biden’s administration asserted that its top priority is repatriating Americans and green card holders, who were unable to escape Afghanistan
On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security declined US landing rights for a charter plane that carried more than 100 Americans, and US green card holders evacuated from Afghanistan, affirmed organizers of the flight.
Referring to the department’s Custom and Border Protection agency, Bryan Stern who is a founder of non-profit group Project Dynamo voiced, “They will not allow a charter on an international flight into a US port of entry.”
Bryan Stern spoke to a news agency from abroad about a plane which his group chartered from Kam Air, a private Afghan airline. He continued that the plane had been sitting for 14 hours at Abu Dhabi airport after arriving from Kabul with 117 people, including 59 children.
Stern’s group is one among the several that emerged from ad hoc networks of US military veterans, current and former US officials and others that formed to bolster past month’s evacuation operation they witnessed as chaotic and badly organized.
An administration official noted that they were unaware about the matter adding that the US government typically takes time to verify the manifests of charter planes before clearing them to land in the United States.
US President Joe Biden’s administration asserted that its top priority is repatriating Americans and green card holders, who were unable to escape Afghanistan in the US evacuation that concluded on August 31.
On Monday, a Senior State Department official stated that the United States was aware of about 100 American citizens and legal permanent residents ready to fly away from Afghanistan.
Six Americans, 83 green card holders and six people with US Special Immigration Visas granted to Afghans who worked for the US government during the 20-year war in Afghanistan were aboard the Kam Air flight, Stern added.
As per reports, Stern had planned to transfer the travelers to a charter Ethiopian Airlines plane for an onward flight to the United States. He noted that the Customs cleared to land at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.
Nevertheless, Customs later changed the clearance to Dulles International Airport outside Washington and then denied the plane landing rights anywhere in the United States, he asserted. He further expressed, “I have a big, beautiful, giant, humongous Boeing 787 that I can see parked in front of us,” “I have a crew. I have food.”
Stern further informed that the intermediaries in Kabul had acquired permission from the Taliban-operated Afghan Civil Aviation Authority for the group to send a charter flight to retrieve the passenger from Kabul Airport.