Taking note of passengers eating on the tarmac at Mumbai Airport, the Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia held a meeting with all ministry officials at midnight on Monday and and in the early hours of 16 January 2024, MoCA’s Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) issued show cause notices to Indigo and Mumbai Airport.
A video of passengers eating on the tarmac at Mumbai Airport has gone viral on social media.
According to the notices, “both Indigo and MIAL were not proactive in anticipating the situation and making the appropriate facilitation arrangements for passengers at the airport.”
For instance, “the aircraft was allotted a remote bay C-33 (instead of a contact stand – an aircraft parking stand that is suitable for walking passengers to and from an aircraft from an allocated boarding gate), which further added to passenger woes and deprived them the opportunity to avail basic facilities like rest rooms and refreshments at the terminal.”
This resulted in an unfavorable and unacceptable experience for the tired and harassed passengers. The flight operation was planned and executed without taking passenger convenience, laid down security norms and the operational issues into account.
According to the ministry with reference to Indigo, show cause notice has been issued for the violation of Rule 51 of the Aircraft (Security) Rules, 2023, AvSec Order 02/2019 and order dated 21.09.2021 regarding failure to observe due aviation security procedures in respect of flight no. 6E 2195 which landed at Mumbai Airport at 2321 hrs. on 14.01.2024 as a diversion case.
The notice says that Indigo allowed disembarkation of passengers from flight 6E 2195 on to the apron and then boarded them on to flight 6E 2091 on 15 January 2024 at Mumbai airport, without following the procedure of security screening, which is in violation of the above mentioned orders.
Further, the incident was not reported to BCAS by the aircraft operator which attributes to violation of Rule 51 of the Aircraft (Security) Rules, 2023.
As far as MIAL is concerned, show-cause notice for the violation of Rule 51 of the Aircraft (Security) Rules, 2023 has been issued regarding failure to report an incident in respect of flight no. 6E 2195 which landed at the Mumbai Airport. The ASG of Mumbai was also not forewarned about the situation.
In the case of both notices, MoCA has asked for replies by 16 January 2024. If replies are not received in the given time then enforcement action including financial penalty will be initiated.