MUMBAI: The civil aviation regulator on Monday issued Air India a showcause notice for its “lackadaisical and delayed” response to two unruly passenger incidents that occurred on its flight from Paris to Delhi last month.
It is the second showcause notice issued to Air India over not following the laid-down norms for handling unruly passengers. Only four days ago, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation had issued a showcause notice to Air India over its “unprofessional” handling of an incident on its New York to Delhi flight on November 26 in which an inebriated male passenger is accused of urinating on an elderly woman passenger seated in business class.
“Two incidents of passenger misbehaviour occurring on December 6 Air India flight AI-142 from Paris to New Delhi came to the notice of the DGCA. One passenger caught smoking in the lavatory was drunk and not listening to the crew. Another passenger allegedly relieved himself on a vacant seat and blanket of fellow female passenger when she went to lavatory,” said the DGCA note issued on Monday. The showcause notice issued to the Air India accountable manager seeks response within two weeks on “why enforcement action should not be taken against the airline for dereliction of their regulatory obligations”.
The DGCA Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) on handling unruly passengers states the airline concerned is responsible for informing the DGCA about such incidents within 12 hours of landing of the aircraft.
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“Air India didn’t report the incident until DGCA sought the incident report from them on January 5,” said the DGCA. The airline reported the matter to the regulator only after the Paris-Delhi incident was reported in TOI and other media. “After perusal of the reply submitted by Air India, prima facie it emerges that provisions related to handling of unruly passengers as per the DGCA CAR have not been complied with,” said DGCA.
Under the norms, the airline constitutes an internal panel, headed by a retired district and sessions judge, which decides, within a month, whether the passenger concerned should be placed under a ban and, if so, for how long.