New Delhi: India has approached the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) against Pakistan’s decision of refusing permission for allow the VVIP Air India One aircraft that carried Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia on Monday evening on an official visit.
A government source said, “We regret the decision of the government of Pakistan to yet again deny overflight clearance for the VVIP special flight, which is otherwise granted routinely by any normal country. Overflight clearances are sought, and granted by other countries as per prescribed ICAO guidelines and India will continue to seek such overflight clearances.”
“Separately, we have taken up the matter of such denial with the relevant international civil aviation body,” he said.
Pakistan had last month refused permission to Air India One to overfly its territory when Mr Modi was headed to the United States. Two weeks prior to that, Pakistan had refused permission for Air India One carrying President Ram Nath Kovind to use its airspace to fly to Iceland. The VVIP aircraft had to take a detour over the Arabian Sea.
Commenting on India’s compliant, ICAO spokes-person said flights carrying national leaders are considered as “state aircraft” and are not subject to its provisions. “The Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention), which ICAO helps governments to cooperate under, only applies to the operations of civilian aircraft and not to state or military aircraft,” the ICAO spokesperson said.