DGCA threatens airlines with fine if they drop toilet waste mid-air
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DGCA threatens airlines with fine if they drop toilet waste mid-air

DGCA has warned airlines operating in India that they would have to pay a penalty of Rs 50,000 if they empty the toilet tank during take off or landing

india Updated: Sep 02, 2018 08:21 IST
Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
DGCA,airlines,toilet waste
In October 2016, former Lt Gen Satwant Singh Dahiya, who resides near the Delhi airport, had moved the NGT alleging human excreta was being dumped on his terrace and neighbourhood from the aircraft during landing. (Representative Photo)

In what looked to be a hurried circular, the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) has warned airlines operating in India that they would have to pay a penalty of Rs 50,000 if they empty the toilet tank during take off or landing. The order, issued on August 30, came after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) warned the aviation regulator that it would stop funding the salaries of DGCA employees if it failed to issue a circular by August 31.

“In compliance with the directions of the NGT, all air operators have been directed to not to release any waste during landing and take off or near airports. The operators have been told that they would have to pay Rs 50,000 as environmental compensation if their planes are found dumping waste mid-air. They have been asked to submit monthly reports,” said a DGCA official. However, the aviation regulator maintained that since the matter was subjudice, the directions were only interim.

In October 2016, former Lt Gen Satwant Singh Dahiya, who resides near the Delhi airport, had moved the NGT alleging human excreta was being dumped on his terrace and neighbourhood from the aircraft during landing.

On December 5, 2016, the DGCA formed a three-member committee to investigate the matter.

However, before the investigation could be completed, the NGT issued an order on December 20, 2016, asking the DGCA to issue a circular to the airlines. “The expert committee, on the basis of physical inspection and examination of lavatory drainage systems of various types of aircraft, concluded that there did not exist a practical way to dispose lavatory waste from flights.

On the contrary, aircraft manufactures claimed that it is impossible to empty a toilet tank mid air. We had filed a counter affidavit, but on August 1 this year the NGT issued another order asking us to instruct the airlines. We cannot go against the court’s order,” the DGCA official said.

“The bio vacuum toilet of aircraft has three levels of protection and any leakage is extremely rare. Even after landing, if you open the tank, the waste has to be sucked out,” said a serving pilot requesting anonymity.

The DGCA has asked the airlines to follow the orders till its review petition is heard.

First Published: Sep 02, 2018 07:15 IST