The government has asked aviation authorities to ascertain the final destinations of around 25 private jets and helicopters that took off from “uncontrolled airfields” around Delhi in the days that followed the November 8 demonetisation announcement.
The move follows intelligence inputs that the private planes may be used to ferry large amounts of black money. Last week, a chartered aircraft had been used to ferry Rs 3.5 crore cash from Hissar in Haryana to Dimapur in Assam in scrapped ₹500 and ₹1,000 banknotes.
Aviation ministry sources said the list, which contains the aircraft registration numbers and details of the day and the airstrip that these planes flew from, had been forwarded to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). “These flights were operated from uncontrolled airfields like Karnal, Hissar among other places following the demonetization announcement,” said a source.
There are no arrangements for screening of passenger baggage at an uncontrolled airfield nor does such an airfield have air traffic control (ATC) facilities. “One can simply get off the car and get on the aircraft at such places and can carry whatever they wish to. It is suspected that these flights were used to carry black money,” an official said.
Sources said DGCA will seek details from the Delhi ATC with which a flight plan would have been filed for such flights and which would have details of where all the aircraft would have stopped and what was its final destination.
DGCA has also warned private jet operators of strict action if they failed to take prior permission from local authorities while operating from uncontrolled airfields. “It has been reported that some of the non-scheduled operator permit holders (NSOP) have been engaged to carry demonetised currency from one part of the country to another, particularly from the uncontrolled airfields,” the regulator said in a circular issued on Tuesday. NSOP operators have been asked to obtain a no-objection certificate from the district superintendent of police before operating to or from a “non-sterile area or airport”.