AI crew could sue airline over safety violations
Angry with the Air India (AI) management for ignoring safety warnings issued by the aviation regulator, a section of AI crew has decided to move the court.mumbai Updated: Aug 26, 2011 01:07 IST
Angry with the Air India (AI) management for ignoring safety warnings issued by the aviation regulator, a section of AI crew has decided to move the court.
Crew members are in the process of filing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking the arrest of two top management officials for consistently violating safety procedures and endangering passengers’ lives.
On August 17, the crew wrote a letter the airline’s new chairman and managing director, Rohit Nandan, seeking permission to file the petition.
“Our lawyers have advised us to wait for 15 days for his [Nandan’s] response before moving court,” said an AI crew member, requesting anonymity.
The crew has alleged 62 safety violations by captain AS Soman, the executive director (operations), and captain RS Pal, consultant (flight scheduling). The alleged safety violations comprise flight operations without enough crew, assigning excess flight duty and denying on board rest to the crew.
The petition relies on provisions of the Aircraft Rules, 1937.
“A person found guilty of a safety violation can be imprisoned for up to six months and fined up to Rs2 lakh for each violation under the schedule IV of the Aircraft Rules, 1937,” said a senior official with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
On March 18, AK Sharan, joint director, DGCA, had warned the AI management against the safety violations.
The letter, a copy of which is with HT, had warned Soman that the regulator might take action against him as per the Aircraft Rules for putting passengers’ lives in danger.
Despite such warnings, the airline allegedly continued to violate safety rules. The crew is also demanding cancellations of flying licences of the two senior pilots.
The spokesperson for Air India did not respond to phone calls or a query sent to the company via email.