Air safety concerns, owing to candid photography by pilots and cabin crew on board, coaxed the regulator to put out a second round of warning.
On January 13, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) reinstated its October 2016 order banning all kinds of photography by flight crew on board an aircraft.
The move came five months after HT reported a first-of-its-kind complaint against six Indigo pilots who were caught taking selfies on board. The pilots seen in family selfies, shot in-flight, were also under fire for allowing kin inside cockpits.
“Taking photography during flight is a source of distraction, which may lead to error and resultant reduction in safety,” reads the order republished on the DGCA website on Monday.
The order added that while photography was already banned for pilots on airborne planes since 1997, now it was prohibited even when the aircraft is on ground. The rule also applies to fliers during boarding and after touchdown.
“Some pilots got away because the previous rule did not spell out the prohibition at all stages of the flight. This order was issued to plug that gap,” said a senior DGCA official.
The order added that in some cases of cockpit photography both pilots were away from the aircraft controls when the pictures were being shot. “In a recent case one of the pilot was engaged in photography during training flight, which eventually resulted into an accident,” added the note issued by joint director general Lalit Gupta.