‘Annonymous’ pilot vents out frustration over take-off delay owing to Modi’s jet, SPG orders probe

New Delhi(dna): The Prime Minister’s elite security guards, the Black Cats, are on the look-out for a pilot at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA). On Sunday, the ‘anonymous’ aircraft pilot vented out his frustration over the delay in take-off caused by the movement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s jet.


“This delay should be recorded with the PM,” the pilot is reported to have said from his cockpit. This was not music to ears for the Special Protection Group (SPG). The SPG, mandated with providing security cover to the PM, found it ‘serious’ enough for an investigation.

Out went an order to the Air Traffic Control (ATC) division of the airport: identify the pilot. The ATC was caught in a spot. Pilots usually communicate using their call sign (which means the registration number of the plane they are flying). Since the pilot in question did not use his call sign while making the remark, the ATC has not been able to identify him so far.

Airport sources aware about the incident said that the ‘VIP culture’ for which vehicular traffic is frequently brought to a halt has infuriated common citizens. “In this case, the pilot may be just showing his displeasure over the delay caused due to VIP movement,” they said.

Sources said that the incident happened around 7 pm when Modi was about to leave from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) after attending a handful of functions in the city, including the inauguration of two Metro routes and laying the foundation stone for an Ambedkar memorial at the Indu Mills compound.

Air navigation department sources said that, as with any other VVIP movement, dozens of arriving and departing flights got delayed on Sunday also as they are asked to wait till further orders. The average delay was about 30 minutes at the CSIA at that point of time.

Since no one dare question the exact time of VVIP’s jet movement or subsequent delays, it adds to the confusion and chaos, airport sources said. “Modi’s Sunday visit was no different in that sense” said an ATC insider.
Last heard, ATC officials finally mustered courage and informed the SPG about its inability to trace the caller.

The SPG reaction is not known. PM Modi’s reaction, too, is not known. But it’s safe to assume he just forgive the pilot. For, it’s a Make in India opportunity for companies making devices that can identify pilots who talk too much, even without call signs.