India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has today issued quite a bizarre warning to airlines.
Airlines warned about photography on planes
India’s DGCA has today issued an order stating that:
- Inflight photography without explicit consent is not allowed in India
- Even though this has been a rule for several years now, airlines have failed to enforce this due to “lack of diligence,” and “such deviations result in compromise in maintaining the highest standards of safety”
- If any inflight photography violation occurs, an airline will have the route on which the incident occurred suspended for two weeks
Here’s the full text from the DGCA:
1. As you are aware that as per Rule 13 of the Aircraft Rules 1937, no person shall take, or cause or permit to be taken, at a Government aerodrome or from an aircraft in flight, any photography except in accordance with and subject to the terms and conditions of a permission in writing granted by the Director-General, a Joint Director General, a Deputy Director-General or the Director of Regulations and Information of the Civil Aviation Department. This permission is, however, not applicable when such aircraft is landing, taking off or on ground at a defence aerodrome.
2. In spite of these regulations, it has been noted that at times, the Airlines have failed to follow these stipulations primarily because of lack of diligence on their part. Needless to say that such deviations result in compromise in maintaining the highest standards of safety and therefore, it is not to be allowed.
3. Keeping this in mind, it has been decided that from now on, in case any such violation occurs on any Scheduled Passenger Aircraft – the Schedule of flight for that particular route shall be suspended for a period of two weeks from the next day i.e. the day following and shall be restored only after the Airline has taken all the necessary punitive action against those responsible for the violation.
What prompted this order?
Believe it or not, most photography on planes has been banned in India for years. However, as far as I know it has almost never been enforced. Heck, look at the social media channels of just about any Indian airline, and you’ll see all kinds of pictures from inside planes.
Why is the DGCA suddenly taking interest in this again? Well, on Wednesday Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut was on IndiGo flight 264 from Chandigarh to Mumbai.
News crews booked the flight with her, and showed up with huge cameras and mics, looking to interview her onboard. They got up while the plane was taxiing and crowded the aisle to try and talk to her.
India has had strict aviation guidelines during coronavirus, and it goes without saying that people crowding in the aisle to try and catch a glimpse of a celebrity isn’t great for that.
— Quint Neon (@QuintNeon) September 10, 2020
It seems that this is what prompted the notice from the DGCA. The DGCA is also accusing IndiGo of not taking proper precautions, and of allowing too many large cameras on the plane.
Indian regulators are now threatening airlines that don’t enforce no photography policies. While this law has been in place for years, it’s only an event a few days ago that has once again brought this issue to the forefront.
Obviously what happened on IndiGo is extremely problematic, and more needed to be done to stop it. But there’s a difference between a dozen people getting up with news cameras while a plane is taxiing, and someone just wanting to snap a picture out the window during a flight. Suggesting that the latter presents a safety issue is outrageous.
Anyone have any recent firsthand experience with India’s policy of no pictures on airplanes?