Wednesday, April 17, 2024
India News

Aviation regulators slap ₹2.7 crore penalties on three airlines, Mumbai airport

India’s aviation regulators have imposed penalties amounting to 2.7 crore on IndiGo, Air India, SpiceJet and the Mumbai airport following passenger inconvenience and violation of security norms amid fog-related disruption in air travel over the past few weeks.

The regulators have imposed a cumulative penalty of 1.2 crore on India’s largest airline IndiGo, 90 lakh on Mumbai airport and 30 lakh each on Air India and SpiceJet.

Before the onset of the fog season every year, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) holds meetings with aviation stakeholders such as airline operators and aerodrome operators. At a 6 November meeting, airlines were instructed to roster pilots qualified to operate in low-visibility conditions during fog conditions.

“The flight delay/cancellation/diversion related data submitted by scheduled airlines for December 2023 were analyzed in DGCA and it was found that SpiceJet and Air India did not roster CAT II/III and low visibility qualified pilots for some of the flights and thus they failed to comply with the directions issued,” the civil aviation regulator said. This also constituted a violation of the relevant Civil Aviation Requirements.

Based on these violations and non-compliance with DGCA directives, show-cause notices were issued to SpiceJet and Air India on 2 January, and their responses were found to be unsatisfactory, the DGCA said.

The civil aviation ministry has also issued a show-cause notice to IndiGo and Mumbai International Airport Ltd after a video of passengers eating on the airport’s tarmac surfaced on social media platforms.

“Both IndiGo and Mumbai International Airport were not proactive in anticipating the situation and in making the appropriate facilitation arrangements for passengers at the airport,” an official aware of the development said.

The aircraft had been allotted a remote bay instead of a contact stand, which further added to passenger woes and deprived them of access to basic facilities like restrooms and refreshments, the official added. A contact stand is an aircraft parking stand that is suitable for walking passengers to and from an aircraft from an allocated boarding gate.

“It came to the notice of DGCA through social media that on 15.01.2024 the passengers of IndiGo flight 6E-2195 and 6E-2091 were on the apron for a considerable period of time at Mumbai airport. This is in violation of para 5 of DGCA Air Safety circular 04 of 2007 which directs all agencies working at the airport not to permit walking on active apron. The presence of passengers on the apron for considerable period of time is in violation of Apron discipline as it jeopardized the safety of the passengers and the aircraft,” the DGCA said.

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Published: 18 Jan 2024, 01:04 AM IST

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