DGCA, airlines & 24-hr confusion over in-flight photography ban diktat

An indignant regulator warning airlines with two-week suspension of routes in the event that they don’t implement a ban on on-board photography led to CEOs scratching their heads on easy methods to cease cellular photography and anxious flyers asking if clicking a selfie might lead them being included within the dreaded ‘no-fly list’.

Multiple airlines comparable to IndiGo and GoAir knowledgeable the DGCA that they have been amending their in-flight bulletins to incorporate a further line about ban on cellular photography and associated disciplinary actions.

“Thank you stupid Indian media and television. You have made the government reverse its own policy of photography on board aircraft. All those lovely photos showing the real cabin are now no longer possible. We are moving from the Republic of India to #BANdia,” Devesh Agarwal, editor of aviation weblog Bangalore Aviation, wrote on Twitter.

Another tweet, this time by Ameya Joshi, founding father of aviation weblog Network Thoughts, stated: “Things I will have to do henceforth, before I book a flight. Pray that nobody clicks a photo 14 days prior to my travel.”

But by night, the DGCA was pressured to subject a clarification, saying they meant to ban heavy tools photography and videography that creates chaos and disrupts air security, and never newbie photography by cellular.

Experts stated the regulator doesn’t have the ability to impose monetary penalty and is pressured to threaten airlines to behave or face disruption in operations.

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The media frenzy over Kangana Ranaut, which spilled over to a Chandigarh-Mumbai IndiGo plane, underlined the significance of clear communication in authorities orders and the significance of regulators having powers to impose monetary penalty on errant airlines and airports slightly than disrupting their operations.

IndiGo flight 6E 264 noticed crew of a number of TV channels following the actress, searching for feedback after the BMC demolished “illegal” constructions at her workplace within the monetary capital. In the video, clicked by a passenger, the TV crew have been with out masks and crowding the aisle.

The DGCA, in a communication to IndiGo, stated that the airline didn’t act and requested it to take motion towards the unruly passengers. IndiGo retorted again saying their employees adopted all requisite protocols, together with bulletins to limit photography, and comply with social distancing norms. “At one point, the cabin crew even parked a food cart in front of third row so that no one could come forward,” IndiGo wrote again.

However, the airline had, earlier this 12 months, banned comic Kunal Kamra for 3 months after he had an altercation with journalist Arnab Goswami. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had defended the ban then.

An govt from a rival airline stated: “Ideally the DGCA should ban carriage of videography equipment on board. But they will not do that as they’re afraid of facing flak from the press… Most cameramen refuse to put such costly equipment in the cargo hold.”

“But IndiGo security at the airport should have ensured that batteries were taken out of the camera, so that they can’t be used on-board. They didn’t even report the incident to the DGCA,” the chief stated.

IndiGo officers stated the airline’s investigation committee began trying on the case solely after the DGCA diktat. “Following the investigation, appropriate actions will be taken against errant flyers, which can include a three-month suspension from travelling by air,” an IndiGo govt stated.

The 24-hour confusion over an order between airlines and regulator DGCA as soon as once more raised the query on who will bell an errant passenger? While the principles provides mandate to airlines to behave in such instances, airlines, cautious of their model picture and raking controversies, put the onus on the regulator to provoke motion.

“DGCA not having power to penalise airlines leaves a large gap in implementing and enforcing rules. Unless the airlines and airport have a fear of financial loss for not following regulations, things become difficult,” a senior DGCA official stated.

On Monday, an important invoice will likely be launched in Lok Sabha to amend the Aircraft Act, whereby the DGCA could be given energy to impose effective of as much as ~1 crore on airlines and airports for violations.

“Hope things will change then and airlines will not shy away from implementing tough decisions to improve safety,” the official stated.


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