‘Drunk’ auto driver breaks VIP entry barrier gate at Rajkot airport; stops just short of a plane about to taxi

New Delhi: In a major security lapse, an autorickshaw driver broke the entry barrier of the auto. VIP gate to Rajkot AirportReached the operational area on Sunday afternoon and stopped his three-wheeler just a short distance from the IndiGo aircraft which was about to taxi. Airport sources said the allegedly drunk driver stopped on his own and then shouted that a terrorist was on board the Bengaluru-bound flight.
One he stopped, the driver was handed over to the local police. More than 150 passengers on board were asked to disembark and again had to go through security checks at the terminal before being allowed to board.
When questioned about his motive, the driver reportedly told police that he wanted to see an aircraft “pas se” (up close). Flight 6E 6508, which was scheduled to depart at 2.55 pm, finally took off from Rajkot at 6.15 pm after getting the green signal from security agencies – a delay of over three hours.
The impact of the auto hitting the entry barrier gate was such that the latter broke. “We are probing it and will take appropriate action,” GS Malik, additional DG (airport security), Central Industrial Security Force, told TOI.
Airport sources say: “The auto driver forcefully entered the operational area by breaking a gate. He walked up to the tarmac and stopped near an Indigo aircraft which was about to begin taxiing. At that time the plane had not started moving. No one could intervene and the driver stopped on its own. That’s when the security personnel caught him.”
Since the driver had spoken of terrorists being on board, the security agencies did not take any chances and asked all passengers to disembark. He was taken to the terminal for frisking. Baggage and aircraft were also screened. It was allowed to fly after nothing suspicious was found.
Fortunately, the auto driver’s warning was false, leaving aviation industry personnel astonished at how easily he managed to breach security.
“The VIP entry barrier gate was breached and a driver in an auto was able to do so,” people familiar with the matter said. This is probably the first incident of a vehicle trespassing into the operational area of ​​the airport in recent years. Apart from the CISF, other agencies like the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security may also probe the lapse.

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