Impossible to dump human waste mid-air, aviation regulator tells green tribunal
The bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar on Tuesday directed the DGCA and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to file an affidavit in this regard before August 2.delhi Updated: Jul 04, 2017 23:21 IST
It is impossible to dump human waste from aircraft tanks mid-air, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday.
On October 2016, a Delhi resident Lt Gen (retd) Satwant Singh Dahiya had filed a case, alleging that houses in his neighbourhood were damaged by faeces dumped by airlines from planes at night.
The DGCA’s counsel told the tribunal that a three-member committee prepared a report on whether human poop could be dumped when the flight was in air. The report said it was impossible to do that.
He told the green body that the tanks had to be emptied manually to release the waste and could be operated only after the flight landed. The cabin crew cannot operate it during the flight.
“We cannot risk the lives of numerous passengers by opening the tanks mid-air. The cabin crew does not have access to the human waste tank as it is operated manually,” DGCA’s counsel informed the bench.
The NGT had earlier directed the aviation watchdog to issue a circular that aircraft would be subjected to surprise inspection upon landing to see that the human waste tanks were not empty. The DGCA, however, refrained from issuing any such orders and had didn’t issue any such directions.
“It is for this reason that we have yet not passed any direction to the airlines. We would become a laughing stock by asking them something which is not possible,” the DGCA counsel told the tribunal.
The bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar on Tuesday directed the DGCA and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to file an affidavit in this regard before August 2.
“DGCA and CPCB, after consultation with experts, would file an affidavit and state whether in any circumstances - intentionally or unintentionally - is it possible for an aircraft to release any waste during flights,” the bench observed.
The complainant, who had file the plea seeking action against the airlines for dumping human excreta, said the DGCA was deliberately trying to delay the implementation of the NGT order by referring to instances in foreign countries.