Indian Aviation Rules

There was this huge furore over former President Mr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam being frisked by Continental Airlines. The Indian Government went to an extent that it sued a case against the airline officials. The allegation was that the airline officials breached the Indian Aviation Rules. This made me look up into what the rules exactly say.

From what I understand after reading several news articles, Mr. Kalam was flying from India to the USA and hence the safety rules/aviation rules/aircraft rules of both the countries must be followed and this is where there was a difference.

The Indian Rules suggest that India gives a list of Delegates (which would include VIPs, VVIPs in power and ones which were in power and their families) who would not be frisked. Since, Frisking is a gesture of doubting the person.

However, US does not seem to recognize this list. As what I understand it has more noise than signal. The US agency suggests that as per its rules, former Heads of State and other VIPs traveling from an international location to the US on a US commercial aircraft were “screened according to the same screening procedures as for any other passenger”.

Probably the Indian rules are more subjective and have more “formal obligations” to meet than the US rules. And hence the difference.


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