Pilots’ federation rejects claims of Runway 34 being based on true events

Runway 34, featuring actor Ajay Devgn, created a stir on Tuesday as the Federation of Indian Pilots (FIP) said that the film portrays pilots in an unrealistic way. FIP Secretary Captain CS Randhawa issued a statement slamming the film. The statement also said that pilots are ‘committed to abide by the highest standards of professionalism’. It also added that the aviation industry has a ‘zero-tolerance policy towards deviant behaviour and substance abuse’. (Also Read | Runway 34 review: Ajay Devgn, the director makes a perfect landing in this visually immersive aviation drama)

Directed by Ajay, Runway 34 also features Amitabh Bachchan and Rakul Preet Singh. Runway 34 is a story based on a flight from Doha to Kochi, that had crash-landed due to poor visibility in August 2015, killing several passengers.

News agency ANI, in its report, quoted Captain Randhawa saying that the profession of airline pilots has been “unrealistically portrayed in the movie and may create apprehensions in the minds of fliers”. “While we all enjoy being entertained and appreciate the artistic licence of a movie director, a thrilling tale should not be perceived as a true depiction of the extraordinary professionalism among airline pilots who fly thousands of flights every day responsibly and safely without incident and fanfare,” FIP said in a statement.

The federation rejected the claims of the film being based on a true incident. “It is reiterated that the character in the movie does not accurately represent our profession and that the industry has a zero-tolerance policy towards deviant behaviour and substance abuse. Our pilots are committed to abide by the highest standards of professionalism to honour the trust reposed in us by our employers, the aviation regulator and the public at large,” also read the FIP statement.

It also added, “There are more than eight thousand pilots in India who embody the highest possible standards of accountability, training and professionalism. The skills of every pilot are honed to a degree rarely seen in any industry. These standards are borne out every day, as pilots are entrusted with the lives of millions of passengers and expensive equipment around the world.”

The Hindustan Times review of Runway 34 read, “Ajay delivers equally well as the actor but I’d still like to laud Ajay the director for Runway 34. As the pilot struggling to make a safe landing and keep his promise of saving 150 passengers, Ajay shows the right amount of tension and calm. And in the trial room being interrogated, he speaks even with his silence. There are a couple of scenes you see him getting emotional too, and those I felt, added depth to his character and not made it look one-dimensional.”

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