Indian Aviation Regulators have fined various airlines and airport operators for violating rules during the recent fog disruptions. The ones fined include Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), IndiGo, SpiceJet, and Air India.
Mumbai Airport, IndiGo Fined
Recently, a video surfaced on social media in which a group of passengers can be seen dining next to a parked aircraft on the tarmac of Mumbai Airport. As per reports, these were passengers of IndiGo flight 6E2195 which was originally destined from Goa to Delhi. Because of bad weather conditions at Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport, the aircraft was diverted to Mumbai Airport.
Both Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) issued show-cause notices to IndiGo and the airport operator – Mumbai International Airport Limited. The replies sent by both of them were found unsatisfactory by the regulatory authorities.
As per the regulators, both of them failed to maintain the safety requirements while carrying out flight operations. In the show-cause notice issued, DGCA said that the flight was operated without keeping in mind the passenger’s convenience and safety norms.
As a result of this, the airline as well as the airport operator have been fined. BCAS has levied a fine of Rs 1.20 crore on IndiGo and Rs 60 lakh on Mumbai Airport. Apart from this, DGCA issued fines worth Rs 30 lakh on each of them for non-compliance with Civil Aviation Requirements (CARs).
SpiceJet and Air India Fined
In December, Delhi Airport operator blamed airlines for scheduling those pilots to fly to Delhi Airport, who are not trained for CAT III approaches. CAT III landing is a precision landing, in which the system guides the pilots in landing the aircraft in low-visibility conditions. DGCA started investigating this claim from the Delhi Airport operator.
Later, it issued show-cause notices to two airlines – Air India and SpiceJet regarding the same. The regulator concluded that both airlines failed to ensure that only pilots with CAT III training were deployed at the airport. This resulted in a lot of delays and diversions.
Due to this violation, DGCA fined Air India and SpiceJet for Rs 30 lakhs each. DGCA has Civil Aviation Requirements (CARs) in place. If the airlines violate these CARs, they are fined.
These are some of the highest fines ever witnessed by the Indian Aviation industry. The last time I heard about such a large fine was when Vistara was fined because it failed to operate a prescribed number of flights to the Northeast region, flouting the Govt rules. At that time, Vistara was charged Rs 70 lakhs. Here, the total fine equates to Rs 3 crore.
Fog Disruption at Indian Airports
The past week has been challenging for the Indian aviation sector as fog continues to disrupt operations. At Delhi Airport, the Civil Aviation Ministry has asked the operator to expedite the re-carpeting work of the 4th runway. The ILS-Compliant RWY 29L has also been operationalized.
Additionally, DGCA has implemented some additional Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to enhance passenger convenience. Airlines have been instructed to show real-time accurate data to passengers waiting at the airport. Real-time should be updated on the airline website as well. Furthermore, passengers should be notified about delays and cancellations via call, SMS, or WhatsApp.
Airlines can proactively cancel those flights which are bound to be delayed by more than three hours. This move will help to reduce the airport congestion.
Source: Times of India