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DGCA fines Air India Rs 80 lakh: Airline did not provide adequate rest to crew, wrongly marked training records

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has imposed a fine of Rs 80 lakh on Air India. The fine was imposed for violating regulations related to Flight Duty Time Limitations (FDTL) and Fatigue Management System (FMS).

DGCA had conducted a spot audit of Air India in January to ensure compliance with FDTL and FMS norms to ensure high level of safety. During the audit, the DGCA found that the company operated flights in violation of regulations.

The flights were operated with both flight crews over 60 years of age

The DGCA said analysis of reports and evidence revealed that Air India has in some cases operated flights with both flight crews above the age of 60 years, in violation of sub-rule (2) of Rule 28A of the Aviation Rules, 1937.

Crews were not given adequate rest, training records were also incorrectly marked

Adequate weekly rest, adequate rest before and after ultra-long range (ULR) flights and provision of adequate rest for flight crews on layovers were also found to be lacking. Apart from this, cases of wrongly marked training records etc. were also found.

Penalty imposed after replying to show cause notice

The DGCA said Air India was issued a show cause notice to file a reply on March 1, 2024. The aviation regulator found their response unsatisfactory.

A fine of Rs 1.10 crore was also imposed in the month of January

Earlier in January too, the DGCA had fined Air India Rs 1.10 crore for safety violations. The fine was imposed after deficiencies were found in the ’12 minute chemical passenger oxygen system’.

There are oxygen masks above the seats for every passenger on the flight. These come down to use in emergencies.
There are oxygen masks above the seats for every passenger on the flight. These come down to use in emergencies.

This action was taken on the complaint of an airline employee

The DGCA had received a complaint from an airline employee in October. Air India flights between Mumbai/Bengaluru-San Francisco using Boeing B777 aircraft were reported to be violating safety norms. The complaint has also said that this type of thing has been going on since November 2022.

Based on the complaint, the aviation regulator inspected the ’12 minute chemical passenger oxygen system’ of Air India planes. The oxygen system can produce oxygen for about 12-15 minutes in the aircraft. In an emergency, pilots can bring the aircraft to a lower altitude during this time, where additional oxygen is not required.

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