A full-fledged bar aboard a private plane and a bottle in another led to the grounding of the two charter aircraft by the DGCA at the Delhi airport today, with the aviation regulator expressing concern over security aspect of the issue.
While a nine-seater Gulfstream G-200, carrying the call- sign VT-SNP and flying from Bangalore to Delhi, had a full- fledged bar filled with a large number of liquor bottles, the other aircraft was a 14-seater Bombardier Global 5000 (VT-BAJ) which came from Pune, official sources said.
Both the aircraft have been grounded for violating Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC) 12/1994 which bans serving liquor on board domestic flights and the Delhi Liquor License Rules of 1974, apart from other safety procedures, they said.
The Gulfstream is owned by Bangalore-based real estate firm Sobha Puravankara Aviation Pvt Ltd, while the Bombardier belongs to Pune-based Bajaj Auto Ltd’s Aviation Division, the sources said.
They said DGCA has instructed that the case be referred to the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security to investigate how liquor was taken on board a domestic flight when the CISF has to carry out all such checks.
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Following a surprise raid at the IGI Airport, a team of DGCA officials also found that both aircraft were not carrying the mandatory operations manuals as well as Jeppesen manual or the comprehensive flight (route) guide, the sources claimed, adding one of them also had a “wrong” ETOPS (Extended range Twin Operations) clearance.
They said two women, not trained air hostesses, were in the Gulfstream acting as crew.
DGCA would shortly issue showcause notices to both the companies owning the aircraft asking them the explain the violations.
The sources said Bajaj Auto has informed the DGCA that a liquor bottle was left over from an August 2013 flight between Dubai and Chennai which carried a prominent Bollywood personality and 11 others.
The Aircraft Act 1934 bans serving liquor on planes operating a domestic air transport service, while Delhi liquor law allows carriage of “not more than one unsealed liquor bottle of 750 ml.”
In its recent spate of safety checks on business jets owned private charter firms or high net worth individuals, the DGCA has so far taken major or minor action in 30 cases.