American flight mistakenly lands at wrong airport

The plane landed more than 15 miles away from its intended destination

American flight mistakenly lands at wrong airport

File photo of ramp workers backing a Delta Airlines Boeing 757 | Image: Chris O'Meara / AP/Press Association Images

A Delta Air Lines flight has mistakenly landed at the wrong airport in South Dakota prompting an investigation by America’s National Transportation Safety Board.

130 passengers were on board the flight which left Minneapolis-St Paul international airport and touched down at the Ellsworth Air Force Base about 15 kilometers north of its intended destination at Rapid City Regional Airport, in Rapid City South Dakota.

The Associated Press noted that “the two airports have runways that are oriented nearly identically to the compass, from northwest to southeast.”

The flight then re-departed for the correct airport on Thursday night “after coordinating with officials,” Delta confirmed in a statement.

“The crew has been taken off-duty while an investigation commences by the National Transportation Safety Board. Delta will fully cooperate with that investigation and has already begun an internal review of its own. Safety is always Delta’s top priority,” the airline said.

Delta said it has contacted the 130 passengers and “offered a gesture of apology for the inconvenience.”

A similar incident involving the same airports took place in 2004 when a Northwest Airlines flight also mistakenly landed at the Air Force base.