VIP privileges at airports: Never frisked, sometimes driven to aircraft
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The President, the prime minister and others covered by the Special Protection Group head the list of VIPs whose vehicles can be driven to the aircraft. Others who have been given vehicular access include former deputy prime minister L K Advani, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and the Dalai Lama. The list includes former civil aviation ministers currently holding another Union cabinet portfolio, such as Praful Patel, Vayalar Ravi and Ghulam Nabi Azad. Foreign heads of state visiting India, too, get vehicular access. So do state governors and chief ministers, but only at airports within their respective states.
A ferry service entitles the flier to a vehicle that will be driven to the aircraft. This is usually done on health grounds. The BCAS last week issued orders allowing ferry services to Mata Amritanandamayi. Also this month, the BCAS had permitted BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha ferry access on health grounds. Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi and Balgangadhar Nath Swami, and former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi too are driven to the aircraft on health grounds.
Turning it down
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and SPG-covered Priyanka Gandhi have set a precedent, opting to stand in queue like ordinary fliers.