The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) have recently imposed penalties on several Indian airlines for various violations. SpiceJet and Air India have been fined Rs 30 lakh each by the DGCA, while IndiGo Airlines has been slapped with a fine of Rs 1.2 crore by the BCAS.
The penalties on SpiceJet and Air India were imposed for undisclosed violations. The DGCA, as the regulatory body for civil aviation in India, has the authority to enforce penalties on airlines for non-compliance with safety regulations and other operational requirements.
On the other hand, IndiGo Airlines has been fined a total of Rs 1.2 crore for five offenses, including an incident where passengers were seen eating on the tarmac during a delayed flight. The Ministry of Civil Aviation had issued show-cause notices to IndiGo Airlines and the Mumbai airport following the circulation of a viral video showing stranded passengers casually eating on the tarmac after their Delhi-bound flight was delayed by 12 hours.
The delay in the IndiGo flight was a result of severe flight disruptions at Delhi Airport caused by dense fog. The incident raised concerns about the airline’s handling of the situation and the safety of passengers in such circumstances.
The penalties imposed by the DGCA and BCAS remind airlines to adhere to safety protocols and operational guidelines. These penalties are intended to ensure that airlines prioritize the safety and well-being of their passengers and maintain high standards of service.
Airlines need to comply with regulations and address any shortcomings promptly to avoid penalties and maintain the trust of their customers. Safety should always be the top priority for airlines, and any violations or negligence can have serious consequences.
The DGCA and BCAS play crucial roles in regulating and overseeing the aviation industry in India. They are responsible for enforcing safety standards, conducting inspections, and taking necessary actions to ensure compliance. The imposition of penalties is one of the measures taken by these authorities to maintain discipline and accountability within the industry.
The BCAS has also imposed a penalty of Rs 60 lakh on Mumbai International Airport Ltd. (MIAL) for the tarmac incident, whereas the DGCA has imposed a fine of Rs 30 lakh on the airport about the same.
Four charges—not reporting an incident to the BCAS, making a “false statement” regarding the deployment of security officers, not having any other plans for surveillance on the apron, and failing to put security control measures in place at the apron—have resulted in a fine for MIAL.
Significantly, IndiGo has been fined by the BCAS on five counts: failing to notify the DGCA of the incident; failing to “implement office order dated 21.9.2021 to ensure screening of passengers and their baggage before boarding a flight”; failing to keep the aircraft release certificate for the concerned flight accurately updated; failing to deploy security personnel under scale; and failing to react to the situation appropriately and effectively.
SpiceJet and Air India have been fined for not providing their pilots with enough training to perform CAT III operations.
Due to their ‘rostering of non-CAT III compliant pilots’ during Delhi’s foggy season, Air India and SpiceJet were served with a show cause notice by the DGCA on January 4. This action led to additional flight diversions from the nation’s capital.
Earlier on January 17, Aviation Minister Jyotiaditya Scindia, in a post on social networking website X, said that the treatment meted out to the passengers in the instant case was unacceptable
“We have acted immediately in the form of a show cause notice to the concerned operators. Further, SOPs for better communication with passengers were also issued. Implementation is being monitored three times daily,” Scindia said.
In conclusion, the recent penalties imposed on SpiceJet, Air India, and IndiGo Airlines highlight the importance of adhering to safety regulations and operational guidelines in the aviation industry. Airlines must prioritize the safety and well-being of their passengers at all times. The DGCA and BCAS are critical in ensuring compliance and taking appropriate action against violations. Airlines need to learn from these incidents and make necessary improvements to prevent future violations and ensure a safe and pleasant travel experience for passengers.