Probe panel for foolproof system during VIP flights
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Last Updated: Thursday, February 11, 2010, 22:45
Hyderabad: A two-member expert committee appointed by Andhra Pradesh government to probe into the helicopter crash that killed former chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and four others has recommended that a foolproof system be put in place "as a matter of abundant precaution" during VIP flights in the state.

"We have recommended a system where decisions related to VIP flights, particularly during times of inclement weather, could be decided by more than one person or agency.

"Currently, as per civil aviation rules the pilot and the Air Traffic Control take such decisions but as a matter of abundant precaution for safety and security we recommended something more," members of the committee H S Khola and M R Reddy told reporters after submitting their 110-page report to Chief Minister K Rosaiah in the state Secretariat here today.

Such a system was currently being followed in the case of the Prime Minister's tours, Reddy, a former director of the Special Protection Group that is in charge of the PM's security, said.

The two-member committee was appointed to look into the safety, security and other contributory factors that led to the crash of the Bell-430 helicopter on September 2.

"We have recommended several measures related to organisational, operational, maintenance and security aspects. With the implementation of these measures, safety and security of helicopter flights in the state will be taken care of," Khola, a former Director General of Civil Aviation, said.

Khola, who investigated into several air crashes, said the DGCA had laid down several regulatory procedures related to VIP flights.

"We have examined whether these aspects were followed or not. We have also gone into the security aspects in great detail. There is always scope for improvement," Khola observed.

He said they also looked into the written, procedural and other "weaknesses" related to functioning of the Andhra Pradesh Aviation Corporation.

"Our objective was to see how the systems or procedures or the facilities of the state government can be improved. We have submitted our recommendations to the government and now it is for it to examine and take required action," Khola said.


First Published: Thursday, February 11, 2010, 22:45

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