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FAA bans Rushdie

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FAA bans Rushdie

Old 11th Sep 2001, 14:50
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Post FAA bans Rushdie

Ottawa Salman Rushdie, who was returning to a normal life after years of hiding,faces new travel restrictions now that Washington has banned him from flights in and out of the United States.
The internationally renowned author was
forced to cancel a trip into Canada after U.S. airline authorities imposed extreme
security measures.
Mr. Rushdie, an Indian-born author who angered Islamic fundamentalists more than 10 years ago with his book The Satanic Verses, is currently promoting a new novel entitled Fury. He is scheduled to hold public readings of his latest work in Vancouver and Toronto next week.
On Thursday, the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority in Washington issued an emergency directive banning Mr. Rushdie from all flights in and out of the United States, reflecting a heightened state of alert.

The FAA never explains why such directives are issued, and the authority did not return phone calls yesterday. Mr. Rushdie's publicist at Random House did not return calls either, and the reasons for restricting the author's travels remain unknown.

Air Canada was supposed to fly Mr. Rushdie into Canada on Friday, but was forced to cancel his booking because of the FAA directive. "It orders that extreme, constraining security measures be implemented on all flights on which Mr. Rushdie is booked to travel," Air Canada spokeswoman Priscille LeBlanc said in an interview. The company sent a letter to the author and human-rights figure explaining the situation.

"As a result of security measures imposed by civil-aviation authorities on any flight on which you hold a reservation, the implementation of which would likely cause considerable disruption to our operations and great inconvenience to our passengers, we regret to inform you that Air Canada cannot accept you as a passenger on its flights or that of its regional carriers," said an Air Canada document obtained by The Globe and Mail.

A violation of the FAA order would have meant the cancellation of Air Canada's flying licence in the United States. The carrier sent out a note to its front-line staff, warning them to block Mr. Rushdie from its planes. "Should author Salman Rushdie attempt a reservation or present himself at an airport, he is not repeat not to be accepted for carriage," the document said.

Ms. LeBlanc said that another one of Mr. Rushdie's flights, booked on a U.S. carrier, was cancelled last week.
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