Aviation regulator DGCA has fined Air India Rs 30 lakh and suspended the licence of the pilot-in-charge of its New York-Delhi flight on which a drunk passenger urinated on a woman. The licence has been suspended for three months.
The penalty has been imposed on director-in-flight services of Air India for "failing to discharge her duties as per applicable DGCA Civil Aviation Requirements”, NDTV reported.
The incident happened on the Air India's flight on November 26 last year, but came to light only on January 4. Air India has imposed a four-month flying ban on Shankar Mishra, who allegedly, in an inebriated condition, urinated on the elderly woman. An FIR was registered against Mishra and he was arrested. Air India crew members were also asked to join the probe.
The DGCA had issued a show-cause notice to the Accountable Manager of Air India, the Director of in-flight Services of Air India, and all the pilots and cabin crew members of that flight. Under DGCA rules, the airline concerned is responsible for informing the regulator within 12 hours of landing of the aircraft in case of any incident of unruly passengers/ passenger rage/misconduct reported in their flight.
Air India has to set up a three-member internal committee. It will have a retired District and Sessions Judge as Chairman, a representative from a different scheduled airline as a member and a representative from a passengers' association or consumer association or retired officer of Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum as the third member. The committee can decide the duration of flying ban on the unruly passenger within 30 days and there could be a lifetime ban.
The case took a U-turn last week, when Mishra told a Delhi court he did not commit the offensive act, and claimed that the woman urinated on herself. The woman rejected the claims, saying these are "completely false and concocted and by their very nature are disparaging and derogatory".