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India: No-Fly Zone over Nuclear Plant

(Dec. 19, 2008) India's Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) recently notified all airlines that all flying activity up to a height of 10,000 feet over the Kalpakkam area in South India is prohibited. No aircraft may fly within a radius of ten kilometers of the Kalpakkam nuclear plant, as a measure of extra safety. The plant is located about 80 kilometers from Chennai, which houses the Atomic Power Station (MAPS-1) and the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research.

Official sources stated that the DGCA exercised its powers under the 1934 Aircraft Act and based on the threat perception as assessed by the aviation security and intelligence agencies, in the wake of the November 26, 2008, Mumbai terrorist attacks. The threat perception concerns nuclear power plants and other vital installations. (Vinay Kumar, Kalpakkam Nuclear Plant No-Fly Zone, THE HINDU, Dec. 17, 2008, available at http://www.hindu.com/2008/12/17/stories/2008121753590100.htm.)