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DGCA fines Air India Rs 30 lakh over flight cockpit violation row, suspends pilot’s license for 3 months


New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has imposed a fine of Rs 30 lakh on Air India for allegedly not taking prompt and effective action in the February 27 Dubai-Delhi flight cockpit violation incident and suspended the Pilot in command for three months.

The pilot of Air India AI-915 Delhi-Dubai flight on February 27 allowed a woman friend to enter the cockpit, according to a complaint filed by a cabin crew member on the same flight who alleged that safety norms were violated. Last month, India’s aviation regulatory body DGCA issued a show cause notice to Air India CEO Campbell Wilson and Chief of flight safety Henry Donohoe for failing to report the Dubai-Delhi flight cockpit violation incident on time.

The notice was issued on April 21 and 15 days were given to respond. ‘Air India CEO was issued show cause notice for the February 27 incident’, a DGCA official told ANI. According to DGCA, the CEO of Air India received a complaint in this regard from one of the operating crew members of the flight. However, the organization did not take prompt corrective action despite this being a safety-sensitive violation. Anticipating a delayed response, the complainant approached the DGCA.

Aviation regulator DGCA took the complaint seriously and launched an investigation. Based on the outcome of its investigation, DGCA fined Rs 30 lakh to Air India for not promptly and effectively addressing the safety-sensitive issue. Further, the pilot license of the Pilot in command has been suspended for a period of three months for misuse of his authority vested under the Aircraft Rules 1937 and allowing violation of the applicable DGCA regulations.

The co-pilot has been warned for not being assertive in preventing the violation. Moreover, Air India has been directed to take administrative action against the SOD/passenger including removing from any Managerial functions in the organization for a specified period. As per the DGCA CAR (Civil Aviation Regulations) and the Air India Operations manual, only authorised persons who have conducted preflight BA test (as applicable by rule) may enter the cockpit and sit there, provided they are on inspection or for purposes of flight safety only.


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