Maintaining safety rules and regulations should be the topmost priority of the operators while flying a helicopter. Recently, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) found out that some helicopter operators were not following the rules and maintaining flying records properly and they fined ₹5 Lakh for each helicopter for flouting the norms. This happened with 5 helicopters carrying pilgrims to Kedarnath.
DGCA Imposed ₹25 Lakh Fine On Tourist Choppers In Kedarnath
The DGCA penalised a massive fine of ₹25 lakhs from 5 helicopters as they reported improper flying records, discrepancies, and infractions in an audit in the month of June. They fined ₹5 lakh for each helicopter respectively and also suspended officials of other helicopter operators for 3 months as they violated the safety concerns. DGCA conducted an audit in June after they came to know about a rough landing of a chopper on 30 May. The DGCA conducted spot checking of the choppers operating and ferrying pilgrims in Kedarnath on 7 and 8 June.
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How Did The Operators Violate The Safety Norms?
The DGCA team that went for the spot checks discovered a lot of serious violations. This led to conducting a detailed audit of every helicopter operator ferrying passengers and doing shuttle operations. The audit started on 13 June and continued till 16 June. The director general of the DGCA, Arun Kumar stated that the team discovered 5 chopper operators that were not keeping up proper flying records in their log books. Also, they discovered that two people from other operators violated the Joint SOP rules. As a result, they fined ₹5 lakh from the 5 choppers respectively and suspended the late 2 operators’ officials. For violating the norms, all 7 operators received Show Cause notices.
We can hear a lot of violations and incidents recently in the aviation sector. The civil aviation minister shared that the DGCA planned to do 3,709 checks in 2022 as per their annual surveillance plan. Before the coronavirus hit the world and everything came to a halt, the target of DGCA was about 2,775 checks.