Ryanair Accused Of Landing Below Minimums

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The Irish Aviation Authority is investigating complaints that several airplanes owned by budget carrier Ryanair landed at Stansted Airport near London when visibility was below minimums. According to the Scotsman newspaper, dozens of flights diverted from Stansted when thick fog settled on the airport and the runway lights went out. However several flights (the number isn't specified) "landed anyway to avoid costly delays," the newspaper reported. The newspaper also quotes an anonymous "insider" as saying the complaint was lodged by a rival carrier, also unnamed. Ryanair denied any safety breaches. An unnamed spokesman for the airport is quoted as saying that visibility was changing constantly and there's no way of knowing whether the airport was below minimums when the landings occurred. The National Air Traffic Service, which handles air traffic control, says it won't get involved. A spokesman said the final decision on whether to land always rests with pilot.