In a move that defies logic, India’s aviation security regulator allows steel knives on board both domestic and international flights but considers their use at lounges and restaurants at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport a “security threat”.
For over two years now, steel knives have been banned by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) at lounges and restaurants situated at the Delhi airport — a move that has left both airlines and passengers puzzled.
“The situation can at best be described as absurd,” said a top executive of a European carrier, which has a state-of-the-art lounge at the Delhi airport. “It would have still made sense had they banned steel knives on board the aircraft.”
“At times it becomes very embarrassing as foreigners are not used to eating with hands. We have been using plastic knives with steel forks for many months now. We are not even allowed use of knives in our kitchens,” said an official of a Gulf carrier.
“As a result of this ban we have been forced to remove a number of dishes and fruits from our menu. We mostly bring cooked food from outside and serve it at the lounge. Such a ban exists nowhere else in the world. We have appealed to the aviation ministry and BCAS many times but nothing has been done,” he added.
The BCAS chief could not reached for comments.
A senior aviation ministry official said they had received numerous representations from airlines on the issue and disallowing knives made no sense when the same were allowed on board.