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HomeBusinessAI gets DGCA notice over peeing incident

AI gets DGCA notice over peeing incident

MUMBAI: Calling them “unprofessional”, the Indian aviation regulator on Thursday issued showcause notices to Air India officials, including all the pilots and cabin crew members who operated the New York to Delhi flight on November 26 in which an inebriated man is accused of urinating on a woman seated in the business class. When the flight landed, the crew allowed the erring passenger, Shankar Mishra, a businessman from Mumbai, to walk away.
Air India officials will have to respond within two weeks, said Arun Kumar, director general, civil aviation. The airline’s accountable manager and director, inflight services, too got the notices. TOI was the first to report the incident on January 4, following which the DGCA sought a report from the Tata Group-owned airline.

Disgusting! Man urinates on woman passenger onboard New York-Delhi Air India flight, DGCA seeks report

Disgusting! Man urinates on woman passenger onboard New York-Delhi Air India flight, DGCA seeks report

“On the basis of reply of the airline, prima facie it emerges provisions related to handling of an unruly flyer have not been complied with. The conduct appears unprofessional,” the DGCA said.
The DGCA, in a statement, said Air India’s handling of the November 26 incident when a drunk man urinated on an elderly woman flyer and has led to systemic failure,” said a DGCA statement. The civil aviation ministry took cognizance of the incident on Thursday and ordered AI to submit a detailed report.

Air India urination incident: Man who flashed at woman flyer identified as Mumbai businessman Shekhar Mishra

Air India urination incident: Man who flashed at woman flyer identified as Mumbai businessman Shekhar Mishra

In its report sent to the DGCA on Thursday, Air India said its crew did not lodge a complaint as the aggrieved woman passenger had “rescinded” on an initial request for action after the two parties “appeared” to have sorted out the issue. “As there was no further confrontation between the two passengers, the airline said in its report its crew decided to respect the supposed wishes of the woman passenger and decided not to file a case on landing,” said a source. The airline added it has constituted an internal committee to investigate the incident on flight AI-102.
The DGCA seemed unimpressed. It said prima facie, the airline lacked appreciation of regulatory obligations prescribed in the Aircraft Rules, 1937, Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) on ‘Handling of Unruly Passengers’, Cabin Safety Circular, AI Operations Manual, AI Safety and Emergency Procedure Manual and AI Quick Reference Handbook and was devoid of empathy.

Another shocking incident on Air India flight: 'Drunk' male passenger allegedly 'urinated' on blanket of a female passenger

Another shocking incident on Air India flight: ‘Drunk’ male passenger allegedly ‘urinated’ on blanket of a female passenger

The woman sent a detailed complaint to Air Sewa, the civil aviation ministry’s grievance portal, saying she did not want to interact with the offender but the crew brought them together, according to a text circulating on social media. She says she told the crew she wanted him arrested, but found it difficult to insist as he kept pleading for leniency. TOI could not authenticate the document.
Though the incident occurred on November 26, the airline — taken over by the Tatas in January 2022 — did not file an FIR with the Delhi airport police station, giving details of the incident till TOI carried the report, meaning a gap of six weeks. This was despite the woman writing to the Tatas and the airline, alleging that the crew was “not proactive in managing a very sensitive and traumatic situation… I am particularly distressed the airline made no attempt to ensure my safety or comfort during this incident”.

On December 28, the airline briefed the Delhi airport police about the incident, giving only the names of the two passengers and that an incident had “allegedly” occurred on the flight.
Under CAR, after a flight on which an incident has happened lands, the pilot-in-command has to file a report. The airline constitutes an internal committee, chaired by a retired district and session judge, and could ban the unruly passenger for a maximum of 30 days. AI has currently banned the erring passenger for 30 days.
“The internal committee shall give the final decision in 30 days by giving reasons in writing. The decision shall be binding on the airline concerned. In case the internal committee fails to take a decision in 30 days, the passenger will be free to fly,” says the CAR. The internal committee also decides the duration for which the unruly passenger will be banned from flying.

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