DGCA slaps Rs 30 lakh fine on Air India, suspends pilot’s license over urination incident

Air India urination incident: India’s aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has acted in a strict manner on Air India, imposing heavy fines on Tata-owned airline, and also suspending pilot’s license. The decision comes months after Shankar Mishra, accused in the incident, reportedly relieved himself on an elderly female passenger on New York-Delhi flight. The incident occurred on November 26, 2022, but was reported to DGCA more than a month later. DGCA earlier issued Show Cause notices to the Accountable Manager of M/s Air India, the Director of in-flight Services of M/s Air India, and all the pilots and cabin crew members of that flight as to why enforcement action should not be taken against them for dereliction of their regulatory obligations.

After conducting an in-depth investigation over the last few days, DGCA has slapped Rs 30 lakh fine on Air India and also suspended the pilot’s license. This is also the first time that DGCA has penalised an airline for unruly passenger behaviour onboard a flight. The written reply of M/s Air India and the personnel involved were examined. Accordingly, the following enforcement actions have been taken in the instant case:

1. Financial Penalty of Rs 30,00,000/- (Rupees Thirty Lakh only) has been imposed on M/s Air India for violation of applicable DGCA Civil Aviation Requirements.

2. License Suspension of the Pilot-In-Command of the said flight for a period of three months (03 months) for failing to discharge his duties as per Rule 141 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937 and applicable DGCA Civil Aviation Requirements.

3. Financial Penalty of Rs 3,00,000/- (Rupees Three Lakh only) has been imposed on the Director-in-flight services of M/s Air India for failing to discharge her duties as per applicable DGCA Civil Aviation Requirements.

It was learnt that the accused went for a settlement with the victim and paid money to her. However, the victim reached out to Tata Group chairman N Chandrashekaran over the alleged mistreatment by the Air India crew and pilot. 

Further, Air India has imposed a four-month flying ban on Shankar Mishra, who is accused of urinating on a woman co-passenger onboard a flight in November last year. In a shocking turn of events, Mishra has denied ‘peeing’ on the woman and said that she ‘peed’ on herself. His lawyer argued in a Delhi court on Friday that the woman was a Kathak dancer who had a problem of “incontinence” or lack of voluntary control over urination.