The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) asked airlines on Friday (June 30) to strictly follow rules and to sensitise pilots and cabin crew to prevent incidents of unauthorised entry into the cockpit. The decision by the aviation regulator comes in the wake of recent incidents in which unauthorised people were allowed inside the cockpit during scheduled flights.
The DGCA has issued an advisory instructing the heads of operations of all scheduled airlines to “prevent any unauthorised entry in the cockpit through appropriate means.”
Any violation of the applicable regulation dealing with unauthorised cockpit entry will be dealt with strictly and may result in stringent enforcement action, according to the statement.
Earlier this month, the aviation regulator suspended the pilot’s licence earlier this month after he allowed his friend into the cockpit while flying from Chandigarh to Leh. On June 3, an unauthorised person, a helicopter pilot, entered the cockpit of an Air India flight AI-458 (Chandigarh-Leh).
According to the DGCA, the helicopter pilot entered the cockpit during takeoff and remained there throughout the flight.
The incident was revealed after a male cabin crew member on board filed an official complaint after landing.
The airline previously stated, “Air India has a Just Culture approach to all safety related events and has a zero tolerance for deliberate breaches of regulations. Such violations are dealt with seriously, and those who violate the regulations will face sanctions.”
READ | Air India Pilot’s Licence Suspended For Allowing Flyer Into Cockpit, Third Such Incident This Year
This was the third such incident in recent months. Air India grounded two of its pilots earlier this month for allowing an unauthorised woman into the cockpit. In a similar incident in May, the DGCA suspended the pilot’s licence on an Air India Dubai-Delhi flight for allowing a friend into the cockpit. It also fined Air India Rs 30 lakh for “safety sensitive issue” lapses.
Earlier this April, the DGCA directed Air India to ground the entire crew of the Dubai-Delhi flight until the investigation was completed.
SpiceJet grounded two of its pilots in March for consuming gujiya and beverages in the cockpit.
According to a SpiceJet spokesperson, the airline has strict guidelines in place regarding the consumption of food inside the cockpit, which are followed by all flight crew. He also stated that disciplinary action would be taken once the investigation was completed.