IndiGo incident: Civil aviation minister comes out in support of Tejasvi Surya

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia leaves after BJP's National Executive Meeting at NDMC Convention Centre, in New Delhi, Tuesday, January 17, 2023. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Wednesday said BJP MP Tejasvi Surya himself reported and apologised for the incident where he accidentally opened the emergency exit of an IndiGo plane last month.

The minister's remarks come against the backdrop of Surya, the ruling BJP's Bengaluru South MP, facing flak from Congress over the incident, which happened on December 10 last year at Chennai airport.

On Tuesday, IndiGo said a passenger accidentally opened the emergency exit of the plane after boarding at Chennai airport but did not disclose the identity of the person.

When asked about the incident, Scindia said it had happened on the ground.

"When the incident happened, Tejasvi Surya ji himself reported that incident, based on which the full protocol was followed as DGCA itself has investigated and enunciated. The full protocol was followed and pressurisation was checked, all the other checks were in place and only then (did) the aircraft take off. I think he himself apologised.

"The person concerned, Tejasvi Surya himself reported to the crew and the pilot following which all the protocols were followed and only then was the aircraft allowed to take off," the minister told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

In a statement on Tuesday, IndiGo said a passenger travelling on flight 6E 7339 from Chennai to Tiruchirapalli on December 10, 2022, accidentally opened the emergency exit during the boarding process.

"The passenger immediately apologised for the action. As per SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures), the incident was logged and the aircraft underwent mandatory engineering checks, which led to a delay in the flight's departure," it had said.

A senior official at aviation regulator DGCA on Tuesday said the event was duly reported and that no safety was compromised, adding that it appears that by mistake, the right-hand emergency exit got opened by a passenger while the aircraft was on the ground.

"The crew took note and resultantly, all appropriate airworthiness action such as reinstalling of the door, pressurization check etc were carried out before the release of the aircraft for departure. No safety was compromised," the official had said. 

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