Air India Pilot’s Friend In Cockpit: DGCA Imposes Rs 30 Lakh Fine On Airline | Aviation News

Indian Aviation regulator authority DGCA has imposed a fine of Rs 30 lakh on Tata Group-owned Air India. A financial penalty has been imposed for lapses in addressing a “safety-sensitive issue”.  It is to be noted that the decision from the authority comes weeks after one of the airline’s pilot allowed his female friend in the cockpit during a flight. The incident occurred on the Dubai-Delhi flight on February 27.

Besides, the licence of the Air India pilot who operated the flight has been suspended for three months. The aviation watchdog has taken action against the pilot for “misuse of authority.” Furthermore, the co-pilot present at the time of the incident has been warned for “not being assertive” during the safety violation.

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DGCA’s statement addressing the issue said, “The pilot in command of the flight allowed the entry into the cockpit during the cruise of an Air India Staff on duty travelling as a passenger in violation of DGCA regulations. Air India has been fined Rs 30 lakhs for not promptly and effectively addressing the safety-sensitive issue.”

PTI earlier quotes sources saying “the incident “was reported by confidential mail to Campbell and Donohoe on March 3. The first inquiry was conducted by the DGCA on April 21, while Air India had not done any enquiry before that.”

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.

After DGCA’s ruling, an Air India spokesperson said in a statement, “We acknowledge and accept the DGCA’s ruling. However, we reject the assertion that no action was taken by Air India in response to the complaint. There were a number of allegations which needed to be worked through with due process and confidentiality, and which commenced immediately upon the complaint being lodged,” reports ANI.

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