Kangana flight chaos: DGCA slams Indigo; warns of 2-week suspension if airlines violate COVID protocol

TPE Correspondent

New Delhi September 12th

The DGCA, India’s aviation regulator on Saturday slammed Indigo of ‘unruly scenes witnessed onboard’ and warned airlines that if unruly scenes are repeated and social distancing norms are violated then the airlines will face a suspension of two-weeks from now on. The authority issued an official statement regarding the same after a media persons were seen violating the norms on and IndiGo Mumbai-Chandigarh flight on which actress Kangana Ranaut was flying this Wednesday.

“Keeping this in mind, it has been decided that from now on, in case any such violation occurs on any scheduled passenger aircraft – the schedule of flight for that particular route shall be suspended for a period of two weeks from the next day, that is the day following and shall be restored only after the airline has taken all the necessary punitive action against those responsible for the violation,” the DGCA said in a statement.

Citing Aircraft Rules, the DGCA issued an order on Saturday saying: “No person shall take, or cause or permit to be taken, at a government aerodrome or from an aircraft in flight, any photographs except in accordance with and subject to the terms and conditions of a permission in writing granted by (certain designated aviation officials)… 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, the airlines have failed to follow these stipulations primarily because of lack of diligence on their part. Needless to say that such deviations result in a compromise in maintaining the highest standards of safety and therefore, is not to be allowed.”

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has also slammed Indigo airlines for failing to prevent ‘unruly behaviour’ on the aircraft by the media persons on the flight. The regulator had asked for a report from IndiGo airlines on the alleged violation of safety and social distancing (COVID) protocols by media persons in its Chandigarh-Mumbai flight that had actor Kangana Ranaut as a passenger.

“We have seen some videos wherein media persons are standing too close to each other in the 6E264 flight on Wednesday. It seems to be a violation of safety and social distancing protocols. We have asked IndiGo to submit a report on this incident,” said a DGCA official.

As per the Civil Aviation Ministry’s social distancing rules issued on May 25, “on arrival at the destination, the passengers should be allowed to exit (the plane) in a sequence so as to avoid any bunching”.

The flight, which flew from Chandigarh to Mumbai, had seen a commotion with several members of TV channels following the actress for comments.

Ranaut had flown just after reports came in that the Shiv Sena-controlled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had demolished “illegal alterations” at her Bandra bungalow.

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