DGCA imposes Rs 30 lakh on Air India, suspends pilot for allowing female friend into cockpit

The pilot had asked crew member to serve her drinks and snacks in cockpit


Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), on Friday, imposed a fine of Rs 30 lakh on Air India for lapses in addressing "safety sensitive issue" related to the incident of a pilot allowing a female friend in the cockpit during a Dubai-Delhi flight on February 27.

The licence of the pilot who operated the flight has been suspended for three months, the regulator said in a statement.

“Air India has been fined ₹30 lakh for not promptly and effectively addressing the safety sensitive issue. The pilot license of the PIC (pilot in command) has been suspended for a period of three months for misuse of his authority vested under the Aircraft Rules 1937 and allowing violation of the applicable DGCA regulations,” the statement read.

"The pilot in command of the flight allowed the entry into cockpit during cruise, of an Air India Staff on duty travelling as passenger, in violation of DGCA regulations," DGCA said.

“CEO of Air India received a complaint in this regard from one of the operating crew members of the flight. However, the organisation did not take prompt corrective action despite this being a safety sensitive violation. Anticipating delayed response, the complainant approached the DGCA,” the regulator said.

The pilot had asked the crew member to bring pillows for his friend and to also serve her drinks and snacks in the cockpit. “While she was inside, the crew was summoned multiple times, during the passenger service on the short Delhi- Dubai sector, to offer her business class fare food and snacks. Though it interrupted the flow of service all requests were promptly catered to,” the complaint had said.

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