Pilot keeps Pakistanis from boarding plane
Thursday, September 20, 2001
St. John's -- An American Airlines pilot spooked by terrorist attacks in the United States prevented three Pakistani nationals from boarding his aircraft before it left Newfoundland on Sunday, an airport official has confirmed.
The men complained their rights had been violated because they all cleared security, said Rex LeDrew, president of the St. John's International Airport Authority.
But the pilot's actions were justified, Mr. LeDrew said, as two of the men in question were apparently airline pilots headed for flight training in Florida. Some of the terrorists who hijacked four planes last week are believed to have undergone pilot training in Florida.
"They did not have any checked luggage and they were assigned aisle seats. The pilot said, 'I don't want to have anything to do with them,'" Mr. Ledrew said.
A spokesman for Transport Canada said none of the Pakistanis posed a security risk. But Mr. LeDrew said the last time he checked, no airline wanted to have them as passengers.