An airline’s service on a particular route can be banned for two weeks if it fails to act against crew or passengers in case someone violates rules such as the ban on photography mid-air, the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) said on Saturday as it took note of an incident on an IndiGo Airlines flight where members of the media began video recording mid air.
The flight on which the violations occurred took off on September 9 and had among its passengers actor Kangana Ranaut, who has recently been in the middle of a public spat with the Maharashtra government. Crews of several TV channels followed the actor on the Chandigarh-Mumbai flight and were seen jostling for her attention while still in the cabin once the aircraft landed at its destination.
Shortly after the incident, the DGCA sought a report from the airline, which on Friday said the passengers did not obey their cabin and cockpit crew who repeatedly requested them to maintain social distancing and switch off video recordings.
“As per rule 13 of the Aircraft Rules 1937, no person shall take, or cause or permit to be taken, at a government aerodrome of from an aircraft in flight, any photograph except in accordance with and subject to the terms and conditions of a permission… This permission is, however, not applicable when such aircraft is landing, taking off or on ground at a defence aerodrome. In spite of these regulations, it has been noted that at times, airlines have failed to follow these stipulations primarily because of lack of diligence on their part. Needless to say that such deviations result in compromise in maintaining the highest standards of safety and therefore, is not to be allowed,” said the DGCA order following the airline’s report.
The order added that they have decided that in such violations on a scheduled passenger aircraft, the schedule of the flight for that particular route will be suspended for a period of two weeks from the next day and will be restored only after the airline has taken all the punitive action against those responsible for the violation.