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Updated January 18th, 2024 at 06:31 IST

Aviation Body Fines IndiGo Over Mumbai Airport Tarmac Dinner; AirIndia and SpiceJet Fined For Lapses

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) initiated the move by issuing showcause notices to the concerned airlines and Mumbai Airport.

Moumita Mukherjee
IndiGo and Mumbai Airport Get Notice
Aviation Ministry slaps hefty fine | Image:X
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Mumbai: Taking a strong note of passenger inconvenience due to flight delays and violations of aviation security norms, Aviation regulatory body BCAS today took strict action against IndiGo, Air India, SpiceJet. IndiGo was fined Rs 1.20 crore as the viral video of an incident at the Mumbai Airport showed ‘passengers were allowed to move, have refreshments on apron and intermingle with others while making movements to and fro from the adjacent apron control building’. While penalising IndiGo, BCAS said the airline did not report the incident to it and failed to respond to the emergent situation in a responsible and efficient manner

The regulator also said that IndiGo failed to "ensure security screening of passengers and their cabin baggage before embarkation and protect passengers and their baggage from unlawful interference from the point of screening to boarding of aircraft at Mumbai airport". Further, it said the airline did not take all security measures required and deploy security staff as per the prescribed scale for the given situation.

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A fine of Rs 60 lakh was also imposed by BCAS on Mumbai airport operator MIAL for violations of provisions of Air Safety Circular. BCAS stated that the operator did not report the incident to it and also submitted a false statement about the deployment of security officers to cordon off the area. According to the regulator, there was no alternate arrangement for surveillance of the apron and runways, while security cameras were non-operative.

Besides, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has imposed a fine of Rs 30 lakh on MIAL (Mumbai International Airport Ltd) over the incident. Both IndiGo and the Chhattrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai were granted one moth time to deposit the penalty amount.

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Breakdown of fine imposed on IndiGo by BCAS

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) initiated the move by issuing show cause notices to the concerned airlines and Mumbai Airport following the incident stating that they were not proactive in anticipating the situation and making the appropriate facilitation arrangements for passengers at the airport. The penalties underscore the aviation authorities' commitment to enforcing safety and security measures at airports, emphasizing the seriousness of allowing such activities on the tarmac.

Fine Imposed by DGCA on Mumbai Airport

 

Fine Imposed by BCAS on Mumbai Airport

 

It is rare for the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and DGCA to impose huge penalties on airlines and an airport operator in a single day, and also comes against the backdrop of various measures taken in recent days to minimise fog-related disruptions at Delhi and other airports.

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Fine on Air India and SpiceJet over Pilot Rostering 

The Aviation regulator DGCA on Wednesday imposed a penalty of Rs 30 lakh each on Air India and SpiceJet for failing to comply with instructions regarding rostering of pilots issued to airline operators vide minutes of meeting (MoM) on Low Visibility Operations and Fog Preparedness held in DGCA HQs on November 6, 2023. Earlier this month, the DGCA had initiated action against the two airlines by issuing show cause notices. The notices were a consequence of the airlines' failure to deploy pilots trained to operate flights in low visibility conditions. This lapse was highlighted after numerous flights were diverted due to dense fog at the Delhi airport in late December.

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After analysing the flight delay/cancellation/diversion-related data submitted by scheduled airlines for December 2023, DGCA found that Air India and SpiceJet did not roster "CAT II/III and LVTO qualified pilots for some of the flights," an official said.

Between December 25 and 28 of the preceding year, the Delhi airport witnessed substantial disruptions in flight operations. Dense fog led to the diversion of nearly 60 flights from various airlines, impacting the overall aviation schedule. The penalties imposed by the DGCA underscore the seriousness of the lapse in adhering to protocols related to low visibility take-offs (LVTO) and Category II/III operations. The regulatory measures aim to ensure the safety and efficiency of flight operations, particularly in adverse weather conditions.

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Published January 17th, 2024 at 21:05 IST

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