DGCA penalizes Air India with Rs 80 Lakh fine for flight violations

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The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has levied a hefty fine of Rs 80 lakhs on Air India Limited for breaching Flight Duty Time Limitations (FDTL) and fatigue management system (FMS) regulations concerning flight crew. The penalty was imposed following an unsatisfactory response from the carrier to a previous show-cause notice.

The aviation regulator conducted a spot audit of Air India Limited in January this year to assess compliance with regulatory standards regarding FDTL and FMS. Subsequently, an analysis of reports and evidence revealed several violations, including instances where flight crews above the age of 60 were operating flights together, contravening established regulations.

According to DGCA, Air India Limited was found deficient in providing adequate weekly rest, sufficient rest before and after ultra-long-range (ULR) flights, and ample rest during layovers for flight crews. These deficiencies were in violation of Civil Aviation Requirements pertaining to FDTL.

Furthermore, the audit identified instances of exceeding duty periods, incorrectly marked training records and overlapping duties. These findings contributed to the decision to impose the fine on Air India.

This is not the first instance of DGCA penalizing Air India for regulatory violations. Earlier, the airline faced a fine of Rs 30 lakhs after an elderly passenger collapsed and died during immigration procedures due to the airline’s failure to provide wheelchair assistance, thereby violating Civil Aviation Requirements.

The recent fine marks the tenth penalty issued to Air India by DGCA in the past year, amounting to approximately Rs 4 crore in total fines. These penalties highlight the importance of adherence to safety and regulatory standards in the aviation industry.

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