Air India disputes ₹1.10 Crore fine by DGCA over Boeing 777 safety concerns

The airline emphasized that the raised safety issue had undergone thorough examination with the involvement of external experts. According to Air India, this examination concluded that there was no compromise on safety.

Air India has expressed disagreement with the ₹1.10 crore fine imposed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) over alleged safety violations related to the operation of leased Boeing 777 planes on flights to the U.S. The action followed a complaint by a former pilot who raised concerns about the chemically generated oxygen system on the Boeing 777 aircraft, particularly its suitability for direct flights to and from San Francisco.

The pilot, who flew a Boeing 777, emphasized that the aircraft’s oxygen system only lasts around 12 minutes, prompting safety concerns. The issue was brought to the attention of the Civil Aviation Ministry and the DGCA in October last year. Subsequently, the DGCA conducted an investigation, and the fine was imposed based on prima facie evidence of non-compliance.

In response, Air India released a statement asserting its disagreement with the DGCA’s order. The airline emphasized that the raised safety issue had undergone a thorough examination with the involvement of external experts. According to Air India, this examination concluded that there was no compromise on safety.  The statement expressed Air India’s disagreement with the DGCA’s order, highlighting that the airline, in collaboration with external experts,  examined the raised issues and concluded that there was no compromise on safety.

The airline also stated that it is studying the DGCA’s order in detail and is considering various options, including the right to appeal and engage with the regulator on the matter.

The DGCA’s investigation highlighted that the operations of the leased Boeing 777 aircraft were not in line with regulatory and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) performance limits. Consequently, a show-cause notice was issued to Air India’s accountable manager, and the ₹1.10 crore fine was imposed.

This incident comes shortly after IndiGo Airlines faced a ₹1.20 crore fine for passengers being observed eating food on the tarmac during one of its flights. The DGCA has been actively enforcing regulations and ensuring compliance with safety standards within the aviation sector.

As the airline reviews its options and potentially appeals the decision, the incident raises discussions about the in depth scrutiny required to maintain the highest safety standards in air travel.

Therefore, the statement expressed Air India’s disagreement with the DGCA’s order, highlighting that the airline, in collaboration with external experts, meticulously examined the raised issues and concluded that there was no compromise on safety.