Monday, April 15, 2024

Passengers’ picnic at Mumbai airport tarmac: Rs 1.20 cr penalty imposed on IndiGo, Rs 90 lakh on MIAL – N.F Times


New Delhi: A collective fine of Rs 1.2 crore has been slapped by the BCAS and the DGCA on IndiGo airlines while a fine of Rs 90 lakh was imposed on Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) after passengers, of a diverted flight, were allowed to move on and have refreshments on the apron, and intermingle with others while moving to and fro from the adjacent apron control building.

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has imposed a penalty of Rs 1.20 crore on IndiGo airlines while a fine of Rs 60 lakh was imposed on Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) while Rs 30 lakh was imposed on the airport by Directorate of General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The incident took place after flight 6E2195, from Goa to Delhi, was diverted to Mumbai due to operational issues attributed to low visibility conditions in the capital on Sunday, prompting authorities to issue show cause notice to both airline and airport.

The video, shared widely on social media platforms, depicts passengers calmly seated on the tarmac, some enjoying snacks and meals, while others engage in casual conversations.

“Ramp to ramp transfer was done for flight 6E 2195 at Mumbai airport on January 15 from 1.51 a.m. to 2.04 a.m. Passengers and their hand baggage were not security screened during boarding process of flight 6E 2195 at Mumbai airport on 15.1.2024 from 1.51 a.m. to 2.04 a.m. InterGlobe Aviation Private Ltd failed to report the incident until BCAS sought the incident report on January 15,” read the order.

“InterGlobe Aviation Private Ltd failed to implement security measures written in its approved security programme dated 21.1.21. Whereas, in view of the above findings, a show cause notice was issued to InterGlobe Aviation Private Ltd on January 16,” said the order.

In its written reply, IndiGo mentioned that it had informed the CISF and MIAL. However, it remained silent on whether it notified the BCAS.

“The entity has submitted that anti-sabotage check was conducted and head count of passengers was taken. However, in its reply, the entity is silent about screening of passengers and their baggage before embarkation. In the CCTV footage, the movement of the passengers on the tarmac and to and fro from apron control building is noticed,” read the order.

It stated that act/omissions of InterGlobe Aviation Private Ltd amounts to contravention of the provisions of rules 51, 32, 56 of the Aircraft (Security) Rules, 2023, violation of Office Order dated 21.9.21 r/w Sub-Rule (1) of Rule 62 of the Aircraft (Security) Rules, 2023.

“Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred under Rule 66 of the Aircraft (Security) Rules, 2023, and delegated under Ministry of Civil Aviation notification…. hereby a penalty of Rs 1,20,00,000 (Rupees One Crore and Twenty Lakh only) has been imposed,” as per the order.

In another notice to MIAL, the BCAS said that Mumbai International Airport Ltd, in para 6 of its reply, has submitted evasive reply about the charge of not notifying it.

“Mumbai International Airport Ltd has stated in para 6 of its reply dated 16.1.24 that it has treated this as a business as usual. Whereas, in para 5 of the reply. it has mentioned that given the complexity of the situation, it actively deployed its airside safety and security officers to support the airline ground staff and create a cordon preventing passengers from entering operational areas,” read the notice.

“MIAL admitted that security cameras of runway and apron were inoperative on the date and time of incident. These were made operational on 16.1.2024 at 7.35 p.m. However, it again went offline and its technical team is working on resolving the issue. M/s Mumbai International Airport Ltd is silent in its reply about alternate arrangements made for surveillance in lieu of non-operative security cameras,” the notice stated.

“The above act/omissions of Mumbai International Airport Ltd amounts to contravention of the provision of rules 51 and 56 of the Aircraft (Security) Rules, 2023 and violation of AVSEC Order 2/2019 r/w Sub-Rule (1) of Rule 62 of the Aircraft (Security) Rules, 2023.

“Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred under Rule 66 of the Aircraft (Security) Rules, 2023, and delegated under Ministry of Civil Aviation notification No. S.O.4668 (E) dated 25th October 2023, hereby a penalty of Rs 60, 00,000 (Rupees Sixty Lakh only) has been imposed,” the order added.

The DGCA said that MIAL is in violation of DGCA Air Safety Circular 04 of 2007 read with Rule 133A of the Aircraft Rules, 1937.

“DGCA in view of the above violation has taken enforcement action against MIAL and imposed a penalty of Rupees Thirty lakh vide order dated 17.01.2024 under relevant Regulations,” a DGCA official said.

(IANS) 




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