Helicopter landing row: My flight was in accordance with ATC regulations, says Jay Panda

New Delhi: Former Kendrapara MP Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda today categorically stated that the flight that he took on September 15 was in accordance with the Air Traffic Control (ATC) regulations.

Panda’s statements came after he appeared before the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to submit necessary documents in connection with the false allegations levelled against him.

The former parliamentarian further informed that the allegations over his helicopter ride have been changed at least five times by Odisha Police.

“First it was alleged that a seaplane landed in Chilika Lake which was subsequently changed to helicopter. Later it was changed that it had not landed in Chilika instead it flew at a low altitude and the lake is a no flying zone. All the allegations are completely baseless,” Panda said.

Panda further stated that his flight was completely in accordance to ATC regulations.

“Chilika is not a no-flying-zone and many other helicopters have also flown over the lake and despite allegations no actions have been taken in this regard. As I am constantly visiting places and reaching out to people across Odisha, such allegations have been brought to stop me,” the parliamentarian alleged.

“DGCA is the authorized agency to conduct investigation relating to any flight deviations as it has the requisite resources and technical knowhow to probe such matters. I have submitted necessary documents and hope justice will be meted out,” Panda added.

Meanwhile, after seizure of helicopters and hangar of IMFA, support for Panda has poured in from various quarters. A protest march was organised by the Student Youth Association in Hindol block of Dhenkanal district today.

Protesting the seizure of Panda’s helicopter and hangar, more than a hundred students participated in the demonstration and raised slogans against the State government.

The association has warned to intensify the protest in the coming days, informed sources.

The State government or the BJD are yet to comment on the matter.

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