Govt knew about Kalam incident, had issued show cause notice

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel

"The BCAS after getting the information in time, first conducted an inquiry and then issued the show cause notice on July 9 and yesterday they filed an FIR also (against Continental Airlines)," Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel told reporters here.

"BCAS was doing its job, whatever was necessary and that is why I said that yesterday was only July 21, the show cause notice had been issued already on July 9. This shows that the preliminary inquiry was being done and based on that, further action is being taken," he added.

The 77-year-old former President was frisked in violation of the mandatory protocol at Delhi International airport before he was to board the US-bound Continental Airline flight on April 21. The staff of the airline frisked him after which he was allowed to board the plane.

When asked if the government would take further action after the airline has tendered an apology to the former President, Patel said, "I don't know whether they have apologised or not and government will consider what is to be done in the future."

On the issue of pilots testing positive for alcohol during flights, the minister said, "DGCA has its guidelines on pilots testing alcohol positive and I am sure they must be taking action as per their regulations. My information is that any pilot who is tested alcohol positive is immediately grounded for six weeks and that in itself is a punishment enough."

Commenting on the revival plans for the national carrier, the minister said that "Air India will be restructured financially and organisationally".

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