New Delhi, April 7: Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Tuesday created controversy at a meeting on flight security, saying that he often carried matchboxes, a banned item on flights, since he was exempt from checks.
Being a minister, he was not frisked any more and, therefore, could now save on lighters and matchboxes, he added.
“I am a heavy smoker, so my matchboxes came along with me which earlier used to get confiscated,” Raju said at the 28th anniversary function of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.
“You can’t hijack a plane with a matchbox,” the minister said, adding: “I haven’t come across any incident worldwide where a matchbox had led to any threat.”
Indian aviation rules do not permit small ignitors like matchboxes and lighters onboard.
In his address, the minister also said security measures should be meaningful without obstructing economic activities as growth in the civil aviation sector has a direct impact on the economic growth of the country. IANS