Breaking rules, Tata-owned Air India pilot welcomed woman friend into the cockpit; DGCA suspends licence
NEW DELHI: A show of friendship in the air costs Tata-owned Air India is paying dearly as the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has fined the airlines of ₹30 lakhs.
DGCA also suspended the licence of the Air India pilot who allowed the entry of his female friend and colleague, travelling as a passenger, into the cockpit during the cruise.
The incident occurred on a Delhi to Dubai Air India flight on February 27.
DGCA took action against the Tata-owned airlines for not taking prompt action on time.
According to the DGCA, “During the operation of Air India Flight AI-915 (Delhi-Dubai) on February 27, the pilot in command of the flight allowed the entry of an Air India staff member on duty travelling as a passenger into the cockpit during the cruise. This is in violation of DGCA regulations.”
While the CEO of Air India received a complaint in this regard from one of the operating crew members of the flight. However, the organisation did not take prompt corrective action despite this being a safety-sensitive violation, the DGCA stated.
Anticipating a delayed response, the complainant approached the DGCA and subsequently, a probe was initiated. The DGCA then asked Air India to take action on the matter as well.
Based on the outcome of its investigation, the DGCA has fined Air India ₹30 lakhs for not promptly and effectively addressing the safety-sensitive issue for the other passenger.
The pilot’s licence has also been suspended for a period of three months for the misuse of his authority vested under the Aircraft Rules 1937 and for allowing violations of the applicable DGCA regulations.
The DGCA also warned the co-pilot for not being assertive in preventing the violation and Air India has been directed to take administrative action against the passenger, including removal from any managerial functions in the organisation for a specified period.