Following surfacing of a video showing media persons creating a ruckus in the IndiGo flight from Chandigarh to Mumbai, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued punitive measures for airlines to ensure the ‘no in-flight photography’ rules are followed.
The DGCA has noted in an order that in case of any violation on a scheduled flight, the said flight will be suspended for two weeks and will be restored only once the airline has taken all the necessary punitive action against those responsible for the violation.
On September 9, IndiGo’s Chandigarh-Mumbai flight with film actress Kangana Ranaut as a passenger witnessed violation of social distancing and safety protocols by television journalists, according to a report filed with the DGCA by the airline. “As you are aware…no person shall take, or cause or permit to be taken…from an aircraft in flight, any photograph except in accordance with and subject to the terms and conditions of a permission in writing granted by the Director General, a Joint Director General, a Deputy Director General or the Director of Regulations and Information of the Civil Aviation department,” the DGCA said in its order.
“In spite of these regulations, it has been noted that at times, the airlines have failed to follow these stipulations primarily because of lack of diligence on their part. Needless to say that such deviations result in compromise in maintaining the highest standards of safety and therefore, is not to be allowed,” the order dated September 12 added.
In a specific communique to IndiGo, the DGCA had noted the violations by media persons and the airline crew’s shortcomings in terms of failure to inform the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) about the activities on board. The regulator asked the airline to initiate suitable action against “all those, who are responsible for above mentioned violations of the regulatory provisions & guidelines and submit an action taken report within 15 days, failing which suitable action will be initiated against the airline”.
Whether an action against the media persons in question will be taken for unruly behaviour on flight, a senior DGCA official said: “The airline has to figure that out”.
IndiGo said: “We have given our statement to DGCA regarding the matter pertaining to flight 6E 264 from Chandigarh to Mumbai, on September 9, 2020. We would like to reiterate that our cabin crew, as well as the captain followed all the requisite protocols, including announcements to restrict photography, follow social distancing and maintain overall safety”.
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