Rahul Gandhi’s guards demand to check licenses of pilots


New Delhi: The Special Security Group (SPG) personnel of Rahul Gandhi recently delayed an IndiGo flight, as the guards demanded to check licences of the pilots of a commercial airliner that was scheduled to fly the Congress vice president from Delhi to Varanasi. 

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According to the media report, the incident took place on September 14 when Gandhi was boarding the IndiGo's 8.55 am flight to Varanasi. However, the pilots reportedly asked them to check the licences from the airline as they felt the SPG men were not authorized to seek their papers. Although the SPG's demand for taking fuel samples was met, on the issue of licences however, the pilots reportedly asked them to check with the airline as they felt the SPG men were not authorized to seek their papers.

As a result, the flight was delayed by 45 minutes as it flew only after the fuel was found to be uncontaminated, the report added. "We cannot divulge any detail," the airline spokesperson said, "given the sensitivities involved in this case," a news paper quoted the airline as saying after the incident.

"Such a demand has possibly never been raised. There's a protocol for special VIP flights where Air India or Indian Air Force deploy their best pilots. But when senior lawmakers opt for commercial airlines, security never asks for pilots' licences. After all, they are in the cockpit only because they are supposed to be there," the report quoted a senior pilot of an airline who has been flying VIPs in commercial flights, as saying.

According to the report, the whole episode has surprised the airlines and aviation authorities. "There's a blue book for VIP travel that lays down security protocols. No one ever says no to security personnel's demand, no matter how illogical," media quoted a source as saying.

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