The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) on Friday began a probe on whether liquor baron and Kingfisher Airline chief Vijay Mallya violated security rules by skipping mandatory security checks at the IGI airport in New Delhi while transfering from a helicopter to his private jet on the tarmac itself.
But the airline maintained that no security procedure was violated as Mallya had gone through the required screening process at the Hindon Air Force Base, the point of origin for his flight, and got transferred to another aircraft at the IGI airport which was permitted under the current guidelines.
The UB Group head, who is also the Chairman of Kingfisher Airlines, had arrived here on his corporate jet, a 22-seater Airbus-319, to attend a function in Ghaziabad.
He flew down to the airbase, located near Ghaziabad, on a helicopter and returned on the same chopper that landed on the tarmac. He is reported to have boarded his private jet directly skipping the checks.
As per the reports, Mallya was in a hurry to reach Mumbai to watch a match of his IPL team Royal Challengers.
But a Kingfisher spokesman asserted that there was "absolutely no violation of any security guideline/norm" by Mallya as he had boarded the helicopter at the Hindon Air Force Base near Ghaziabad after "undergoing the prescribed security screening process".
Maintaining that the Hindon base was "a secure and sterile area", he said Mallya "did not leave the sterile portion" of the IGI Airport at any point and during his transfer from one aircraft to another.
"There is no question of violation of security norms," the spokesman said.
Ramp transfer, that is the transfer of a passenger who has arrived in a civilian airfield after having undergone prescribed security check at his point of origin and transfers to another aircraft in thatairfield, is fully permitted under the guidelines, he added.
The CISF, however, maintained that it recieved a request for a ramp-to-ramp transfer for Mallya. But it "refused to depart from the established procedures and asked them that the security procedures have to be followed".
The CISF also said that it was the responsibility of the captain of the aircraft to ensure that all passengers boarding the plane have the mandatory pre-embarkation checks.