Aviation Top Stories

DGCA raps Air India for not reporting another in-flight incident

According to a report in The Hindu, Air India chief executive officer Campbell Wilson met DGCA Director-General Arun Kumar after the civil aviation regulator issued a show-cause notice to the airline for its failure to respond to a mid-flight safety incident when a passenger urinated on a woman co-traveller on November 26.

The airline also received another rap for two other incidents on a flight 10 days later which were not reported to the regulator and involved another passenger relieving himself on an unoccupied seat.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued a second show-cause notice to Air India over a span of five days. The latest reprimand is over two events on December 6 on an Air India flight from Paris to New Delhi during which a passenger was caught smoking in the lavatory. The passenger was also in an inebriated condition and refused to listen to the crew’s instructions. On the same flight, another passenger allegedly relieved himself on a seat which was vacant because its woman occupant had briefly gone to the toilet.

Noting that the airline had failed to report the incident until January 5, the DGCA said “the response of the airline has been lackadaisical and delayed”.

“DGCA has issued show-cause notice to Accountable Manager of M/s Air India as to why enforcement action should not be taken against them for dereliction of their regulatory obligations,” the regulator said in a statement about the airline’s failure to comply with rules laid down by it for dealing with unruly passengers, which includes the requirement of reporting the incident to the DGCA within 12 hours after an aircraft lands. The airline has been given two weeks to respond.

The DGCA also asked the airline to constitute an internal complaints committee to inquire into the two incidents of December 6 which can lead to a lifetime ban. It also said that until the committee arrives at a decision the airline should also consider banning such passengers for up to 30 days.

The DGCA had last week issued a similar notice for a “systemic failure” in failing to respond to a situation where Shankar Mishra urinated over a woman traveller in an inebriated state because the airline failed to hand him over to the CISF, or report it to the regulator and the police.

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