AAI Clarifies On Odisha CM’s Flight Duration For Aerial Survey Of Flood-Hit Areas

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Bhubaneswar: A day after questions were raised in a section of media on chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s aerial survey of flood affected areas on August 31, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Thursday clarified that Patnaik flew for 19 minutes during the aerial survey.

According to the AAI, the chief minister’s flight took off from the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar at 3.42 pm on August 31 and landed back at the airport at 4.01 pm. “All the timings given with respect to flight movements are UTC only,” the AAI said in a statement.

It further said the actual flying time excludes warmup time, startup time at apron and taxi time to runway and return to apron after landing. “As per our SOP for handling of VVIP flights, VVIP means President, Vice-President, Prime Minister and foreign heads of State/Govt,” the AAI said.

Quoting an RTI disclosure provided by the Office of Airport Director, Bhubaneswar on October 7, it was said that the CM took an aerial survey for short duration and the flood assessment was not proper.

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