Lapses of airport officials led to Pak pilot landing flight
Lapses on part of airport officials were responsible for a Pakistani pilot of a Gulf-based foreign airline landing in Thiruvananthapuram and staying overnight in a city hotel in May, Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said today.india Updated: Jul 07, 2010 17:59 IST
Lapses on part of airport officials were responsible for a pof a Gulf-based foreign airline landing in Thiruvananthapuram and staying overnight in a city hotel in May, Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said on Wednesday.
Replying to a submission by K C Joseph (Congress) in the Assembly, he said the airline, Etihaad, had sought permission for temporary landing and stay of crew, including the pilot, after giving their names and nationalities.
However, officials who scrutinised the list failed to spot the name of the Pakistani pilot, Khan Khaleedh Rashid. The other crew members were American, Polish, Korean, Egyptian and Indian.
"Based on initial investigations, a thorough inquiry has been ordered to find how the lapse occurred," he said.
The minister said central agencies had also been asked to probe whether Rashid had made any telephone calls from the hotel during his stay.
He termed as incorrect the reports that Rashid had hired a car and visited various spots in the city.
According to reports, Rashid flew a scheduled flight to the city on May 6 and stayed for a day in a five-star hotel before operating the return flight the next day.
The case involved violation of a recent circular restricting Pakistani pilots from flying to the four metropolitan cities in the country.
Pakistani crew members and pilots in other airports across India have to stay in retiring rooms in airports under strict security cover in the event of their flights operating there.
As per the Foreigners Registration Act, it is the responsibility of police and its intelligence wing to keep a tab on foreign nationals staying in the city, especially those from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Also, foreign airlines are expected to keep authorities informed of the details of the foreign pilot flying to the country.
First Published: Jul 07, 2010 17:18 IST