The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) on Tuesday issued a show cause notice to Indigo and Mumbai Airport after a video of passengers eating and sitting on the tarmac at the airport went viral on social media.
In another development, the Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya Scindia also held a meeting with all ministry officials in the late hours of Monday following the traffic congestion at Delhi airport due to dense fog.
As per the notices, both Indigo and MIAL failed to proactively anticipate the situation and arrange appropriate facilities for passengers at the airport. An example of this was the assignment of a remote bay, C-33, to the aircraft instead of a Contact Stand. Contact Stands are designed for passengers to easily walk to and from the aircraft from an assigned boarding gate, ensuring access to basic amenities like restrooms and refreshments at the terminal.
This led to an undesirable and unacceptable experience for the fatigued and distressed passengers. The planning and execution of the flight operation did not consider passenger convenience, established security norms, and operational issues.
According to officials, the show cause notice to IndiGo has been issued for the violation of Rule 51 of the Aircraft (Security) Rules, 2023, AvSec Order 02/2019 and order dated September 21, 2021 regarding failure to observe due aviation security procedures in respect of Flight no. 6E 2195 which landed at Mumbai Airport at 2321 hrs. on January 14 as a diversion case.
“Indigo allowed disembarkation of passengers from flight 6E 2195 on to the apron and then boarded them on to flight 6E 2091 on January 15 at Mumbai airport, without following the procedure of security screening, which is in violation of the above mentioned orders. Further, the incident was not reported to BCAS by the aircraft operator which attributes to violation of Rule 51 of the Aircraft (Security) Rules, 2023,” as per officials.
The show cause notice to Mumbai airport was issued for the violation of Rule 51 of the Aircraft (Security) Rules, 2023 has been issued regarding the failure to report an incident in respect of Flight no. 6E 2195 which landed at the Mumbai Airport.
The flight 6E2195, en route from Goa to Delhi, was diverted to Mumbai due to operational issues attributed to low visibility conditions in the capital on Sunday.
The video, shared widely on social media platforms, depicts passengers calmly seated on the tarmac, some enjoying snacks and meals, while others engage in casual conversations.
In response to the incident, IndiGo issued a statement confirming the diversion of flight 6E2195 and acknowledging the inconvenience caused to passengers.
"We are aware of the incident involving IndiGo flight 6E2195 from Goa to Delhi on January 14, 2024. The flight was diverted to Mumbai due to low visibility conditions in Delhi. We sincerely apologise to our customers and are currently looking into the incident. We will take necessary steps to avoid any such instances in the future," the airline statement read.