Odisha CM’s Aerial Survey Of Flood-Hit Areas: The Chopper Was Airborne For 19 Mins, Says AAI
Bhubaneswar: After doubts were raised over the veracity of Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik’s recent aerial survey of flood–hit districts, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) today clarified that the CM’s chopper was airborne for 19 minutes.
In a statement, the AAI said that the CM’s flight departed at 3:42 PM on August 31 and landed back at Bhubaneswar Airport at 4:01 PM.
“The flight movements are in UTC only as per ICAO standards. To get 1ST timings 0530 Hrs are added to UTC timings. (IST=UTC+05:30). As per our SOP for handling of VVIP flights, VVIP means President, Vice President, Prime Minister of India and foreign Heads of state/Govt. Actual flying time is 19 minutes excluding warm up time, start up time at apron and taxi time to runway and return to apron after landing,” read the AAI statement.
Earlier, an RTI activist had raised questions over the CM’s aerial survey citing an RTI reply that the helicopter had taken off from the Bhubaneswar Airport at 10:12 AM on August 31 and returned at 10:31 AM. The chopper took off and returned to the airport in 19 minutes which included a flight time of only nine and a half minutes, the RTI activist added.
“From the RTI reply that I have received, the Odisha government’s chopper on August 31 was used for 19 minutes including the time taken for take-off and landing. It was reported that the CM conducted an aerial survey of flood-hit areas in Jajpur district, but it’s not possible to take off, conduct the survey of the district and land at the airport in just 19 minutes,” RTI activist, Srikant Kumar Pakala had said.
Meanwhile, even after 24 hours of the publication of the report, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) was still to issue any statement though OTV had sought a response from the concerned office through an email.