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DGCA denies directing private airlines to give special privileges to MPs

Amid public outrage, the Central Government and the DGCA today denied reports that private airlines had been instructed to offer MPs privileges like free snacks, use of VIP lounges, priority clearances and a protocol officer.

New Delhi: The aviation regulator Wednesday said that it has not instructed private airlines to provide preferential facilities like lounge access and priority check-in to members of parliament (MPs).

Earlier, a section of the media reported that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)had directed private airlines including budget carriers to provide facilities such as lounge access, priority check-in, advance reports of flight timings and stationing of a protocol officer to escort the MPs.

The reports had said that the alleged DGCA directive had come after the Privileges Committee had raised the issue of non-compliance by airports and airlines of the 2007 circular.

However, DGCA denied issuing any such directive. The issue assumes significance at a time when political parties have been calling to curtail privileges of MPs and ministers and to adopt austerity measures.

Sources in the ministry said that the MPs privileges guidelines for airlines and airports have been given in a 2007 circular and that national carrier Air India has been adhering to it.

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