In a clear violation of air safety guidelines, the state government has allowed the high and mighty to fly in the state-owned aircraft without a flying permit from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). For the past six years, the nine-seater Beech Super King Air B-200 and Dauphin AS 365N3 helicopter have flown chief ministers, governors and VVIPs without the mandatory Operator Permit (OP) from the DGCA.
The aircraft has been in operation since May 29, 2000, and the chopper since August 20, 2007. During this period the flying machines have flown the likes of chief ministers Keshubhai Patel, Narendra Modi, Anandiben Patel, governors Kamla Beniwal and O P Kohli, besides others. Following the death of the then Andhra Pradesh chief minister YSR Reddy in an air crash, a slew of safety standards were made compulsory by the DGCA. Issue 1 of Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR), Air Transport series ‘C’ section 10 came into existence on June 2, 2010 with guidelines for state/ central government and public sectors to ensure better security of passengers like CM, governor and other important dignitaries. Hank Aaron Authentic Jersey