Elton John gets special flying dispensation in Scotland
June 16 2004 12:00 AM ET
Scotland's Aberdeen airport is extending its usual 11 p.m. curfew on takeoffs to let Elton John catch a late flight out after a concert, and at least one local official says the star shouldn't get special treatment. John is performing at the northeastern Scottish city's Pittodrie Stadium on Friday, and city planning convener Scott Cassie, a council member, said Tuesday he had given special permission for the musician's private plane to take off at 11:30 p.m. "I was asked if I could extend the takeoff time, and I said yes," Cassie said. "It means that Elton can play on a bit and not rush away to get an early flight. Getting someone of that stature up to Aberdeen is a coup, and it is only reasonable that we try to accommodate him."
Council member Kevin Stewart said the exception was unfair and urged John to stay in a hotel room after his show. "There should not be special treatment. I think it is ridiculous," he said. "Elton John should be no different to anyone else, and the rules should apply." Peter Noyce, operations director at the airport, said the exception was justified because "this is a one-off event involving one of the world's leading entertainers and tens of thousands of fans, and ourselves and the city agree we should do what we can to help."