The Business Aircraft Operators Association (BAOA) on Monday opposed an FIR lodged against it and its pilots in connection with the technical snag in Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s flight.
The business jet operators’ body expressed concern over the police action in the matter while saying that the issue of technical trouble in Rahul’s flight should not be politicised.
“BAOA feels deeply concerned that, in one of the recent incidents involving a chartered flight for a senior political leader operated by one of our members Ligare Aviation, an FIR was lodged with the police against the operator and the pilots for criminal negligence,” the BAOA said in a statement issued on Monday.
It further stressed said that any attempt to use such incidents for political purpose is totally uncalled for as it could “adversely affect” the safety of overall operations of the charter planes.
The BAOA also stated that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is the only agency that can probe aircraft snags.
On April 26, the plane carrying Rahul and other passengers onboard from New Delhi to Hubli, Karnataka developed a technical snag during landing, following which the civil aviation ministry directed DGCA to conduct a probe.
“As per initial reports, the aircraft developed a technical snag in mid-air and the pilots landed the aircraft safely as per Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), after duly assessing the situation. All such incidents are mandatorily investigated by DGCA, which is the only authorized agency to determine the causes for the incident and fix responsibility,” it reads.
The BAOA urged all political parties to facilitate them maintain the highest level of flight safety standards in all GA/BA flights.
“Any attempt to use such incidents for political purpose is totally uncalled for, as it would result in avoidable stress on pilots involved in such VIP flights and adversely affect the flight safety environment of General and Business Aviation (GA/BA) industry, which prides itself to a very high level of professionalism,” it added.
Earlier, the Congress, alleging “intentional tampering” with aircraft, filed a police complaint with authorities in Karnataka and also demanded a probe into the “suspicious and faulty performance” of aircraft.