DGCA took 305 enforcement actions against airlines, individuals in 2022

Radhika Bansal

02 Jan 2023

Aviation safety regulator DGCA took 305 enforcement actions, including imposing financial penalties against various operators and individuals, among others for non-compliance with various norms during 2022, an official statement said on Sunday, January 1.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is mandated to enforce civil air regulations, air safety and airworthiness standards. The regulator took 305 enforcement actions during the year, the DGCA said in the statement.

These enforcement actions were taken against various airlines, including scheduled as well as non-scheduled operators, airport operators and flying training organisations for failing to adhere to laid down safety standards and norms and compromising the safety of aircraft operations, the DGCA said.

DGCA took 305 enforcement actions against airlines and individuals in 2022

Actions were also taken against erring pilots, cabin crew, air traffic controllers (ATCOs), aircraft maintenance engineers and various post holders for non-compliance to laid down regulations and SOPs, it added.

According to the DGCA, the main reasons included actions of the flight crew and ATCOs leading to serious incidents and accidents, improper aircraft maintenance, inadequate airport facilities and failure to clear breath analyser tests by them, including the AMEs. These also included lapses on part of various flying training organisations to follow laid-down SOPs and safety standards.

Besides, during 2022, the DGCA said it also levied financial penalties in 39 cases to the tune of INR 1.975 crore on various airlines, airport operators and FTOs. This includes a penalty imposed on no-frills carrier IndiGo for wrongfully offloading a differently-abled person and on the now Tata Group-owned Air India for not paying compensation to passengers against denied boarding.

Actions were also taken against erring pilots, cabin crew, air traffic controllers (ATCOs), aircraft maintenance engineers and various post holders for non-compliance to laid down regulations and SOPs.

At the same time, SpiceJet was penalised for using a simulator with an unserviceable warning system for training pilots while a penalty on Vistara was levied for non-compliance with route dispersal guidelines, the DGCA said.

A penalty was also imposed on five non-scheduled operators for violation of NSOPs / over logging of flying hours during Kedarnath yatra operations, the statement said and added that the national airport operator AAI was penalised for non-compliance of runway light requirements at Bhavnagar airport.

As many as 17 organisations including Go First were also penalised for non-adherence to laid down guidelines on breath analyser checks, the regulator said in the statement.

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eVTOL Concept Cabin Crash tests by NASA to study passenger safety


01 Jan 2023

NASA recently crashed a dummy eVTOL aircraft cabin full of crash-test dummies into the ground as part of its ongoing research into the safety of new advanced air mobility technology to learn what would happen to the occupants in the case of an emergency landing. The organization published a video that features multiple perspectives of the test article collapsing into the ground as its above structure gives way.


At the Landing and Impact Research facility at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, a full-scale crash was performed by NASA. The aircraft cabin was created as a test article by NASA's Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology project, which conducts research and makes investments in the technologies that will allow the introduction of new aerial vehicles linked to advanced air mobility, such as eVTOL aircraft that can transport people or cargo in areas that are currently unserviced by aviation.

NASA fitted six anthropomorphic test devices, sometimes known as "crash test dummies," into an eVTOL cabin without a wing or propellers for the crash test. To simulate the rotor, battery, and wing structure, a mass was put overhead. The impact of a crash on passengers of various ages was examined using dummies of varied sizes. New energy-absorbing stroking seats and an agency-developed energy-absorbing composite flooring were also tested during the experiment by NASA.


When looking at crash conditions for these types of vehicles, it’s important to note the structural weight and distribution that must be made when examining a specific design. The test was a great success for the crash-worthiness team at Langley. We successfully tested the eVTOL vehicle concept representing a six-passenger, high wing, overhead mass, multiple rotor vehicle, obtaining more than 200 channels of data, and collecting over 20 onboard and off-board camera views - said Justin Littell, a research assistant for NASA Langley’s Structural Dynamics Branch

The completely occupied cabin was raised several meters into the air, its supporting wires were destroyed with explosives, and it was swung toward the ground at an angle to simulate how an eVTOL aircraft may fall in the event of a propulsion failure or other emergency. NASA has determined that the experiment was successful despite the cabin appearing to have suffered significant damage in the collision.

While we are still going through the data and video, and these results are preliminary, we see that there are two main events that occurred during this test-  Littell added

Littell was referring to the overhead structure collapsing soon after the hit as the second occurrence. The scenario in the back seat doesn't appear as favorable, despite the fact that the fake passengers in the front of the plane don't appear to have been crushed by the airframe.

According to NASA, the information gathered from this crash test will help to enhance and realistically enhance these models. The information will also be used by researchers to help design the agency's upcoming eVTOL drop test, which is planned for late 2023.

Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology Project Overview


Vertical lift vehicles are increasingly being examined for usage in novel ways that go well beyond those envisioned when thinking about typical helicopters. These new uses are made possible by their unique capacity to take off and land from any area as well as hover in position.

With the help of partners in the government, business, and academia, NASA's Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology (RVLT) project is developing vital technologies that will enable a host of ground-breaking new air travel options, particularly those related to Advanced Air Mobility like large cargo-carrying vehicles and passenger-carrying air taxis.

The vertical lift industry's capacity to safely develop and certify novel new technologies, reduce operating costs, and meet acceptable neighborhood noise levels will be crucial in opening these new markets, which are expected to grow quickly over the next ten years.

SOURCE: futureflight.aero | nasa.gov

COVER: NASA Langley | David C. Bowman

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Noida & Greater Noida authorities to allocate about Rs 1800 crore for NIA

Sakshi Jain

30 Dec 2022

Noida and the Greater Noida authorities have consented to release Rs 1,800 crore towards the Noida International Airport (NIA) construction.

The Greenfield airport is being built as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project, with the Noida Authority and the Greater Noida Authority owning 37.5 per cent and 12.5 per cent, respectively, of the project. In addition to them, the Yamuna Expressway Authority owns a 12.5 per cent investment in the project, and the Uttar Pradesh government holds a 37.5 per cent stake.

NIA is developing in Gautam Buddh Nagar's Jewar neighbourhood, around 75 kilometres from Delhi.

On Wednesday, December 28, the board meetings of the Noida Authority and the Greater Noida Authority decided to disburse the cash. In the presence of Ritu Maheshwari, the CEO of both authorities, Arvind Kumar, the Uttar Pradesh Infrastructure and Industrial Development Commissioner, presided over the discussions.

“For the establishment of the Noida International Airport, it was decided by the Noida Authority to give the balance due amount of Rs 1359,12,80,170. Prior to this, a total amount of Rs 1830,23,92,865 has been released by the Noida Authority against its shareholding.”

–Statement, Noida Authority

The Greater Noida Authority said in a separate statement that it would make a fund release of Rs 453 crore towards the airport's development.

“The first installment of Rs 113 crore from this fund will be released shortly. The remaining money would be released once the authority gets a loan from banks.”

–Statement, Noida Authority

The construction of the Noida International Airport, which when finished would be the largest airport in India, is now under process. The airport is developing in Gautam Buddh Nagar's Jewar neighbourhood, around 75 kilometres from Delhi. The Gautam Buddha Nagar district's future greenfield airport would improve domestic and international connectivity to and from Delhi-NCR, Noida, and Western Uttar Pradesh.

The Noida International Airport is currently being built; if complete, it would be India's largest airport.

An official stated that the airport's first phase should be finished by September 2024. About 20% of the work of phase 1 is completed.

The airport, which will be the biggest in India when it is finished, will be built in four stages and, once finished, will have a capacity for 70 million passengers annually, two terminal buildings, and a land area of 5,000 acres.

“The 17 km boundary wall around the airport site has been completed and the electricity substation with 11 kVA capacity is ready. The work progress is on schedule. Some work on the runway, air traffic control building, and the terminal building has been completed.”

–Arun Vir Singh, Chief Executive Officer, Noida International Airport Limited (NIAL)

According to the concession agreement, the first phase, which will accommodate 12 million passengers annually, must be finished and operational by September 2024.

Also read: Noida International Airport partners with ICAD for Master Systems Integrator consultancy

The first phase, which can accommodate 12 million people annually, must be completed and functioning by September 2024, as per the concession agreement.

The second phase of the airport's construction has already started thanks to the efforts of the Uttar Pradesh administration, headed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The Uttar Pradesh state government received a proposal from the Gautam Buddh Nagar district administration in November for the purchase of land for the NIA's second phase.

The contract to develop and run the airport was awarded to the Swiss airport operator Zurich Airport International AG (ZAIA) in November of last year.

Also read: Noida International Airport to be built by Tata Projects

The airport's developer, Yamuna International Airport Private Limited (YIAPL), a division of the Swiss company ZAIA, recently said that the first phase of the massive aviation project is proceeding according to plan. Tata Projects Ltd. has been chosen by YIAPL to carry out the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) of Noida International Airport.

Source: CNBC TV-18

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Air India Pilots Union seeks conciliation proceedings with the management to sort out issues

Sakshi Jain

30 Dec 2022

Air India Pilots Union has petitioned the labour department for conciliation proceedings with the Airline's management to alter their working conditions.

Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) & Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), the Pilots' Union for Air India, has written to the airline to raise awareness of the pilot shortage and the difficulties pilots are encountering, including extended work hours, salary cuts, and a deteriorating work-life balance.

The airline, which is now owned by the Tata group, was informed by IPG-ICPA that pilots have flown more than 90 hours per month on all fleets, above the industry standard of 70 hours per month. Pilot weariness, which has occurred before in the history of commercial aviation, raises concerns about the safety of the passengers.

The Pilots' Union for Air India, Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) & Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), has written to the airline to bring attention to the pilot shortage and the challenges pilots are facing.

Also read: Air India pilot unions claim shortage of flying crew; slam work schedule

The Air India Pilots Union made note of their displeasure at not receiving the pre-COVID pay structure as the airline hires foreign pilots for its 777 fleets at a CTC that is 80% higher than that of current long-serving pilots. Indian pilots are allegedly the target of "discrimination," according to the IPG-ICPA union.

The group has warned that, in addition to problems with service conditions, the airline's ambitions to engage captains for its A320 fleet under fixed-term contracts may put the current Air India pilots in an unusual predicament. 

The union has issued a warning, stating that in addition to issues with service conditions, the airline's plans to hire captains for its A320 fleet under fixed-term contracts may put the current Air India pilots in an unusual situation.

Also read: Air India’s plan to hire new captains gets no support from the pilots’ union

A letter was submitted earlier this week to the Chief Labour Commissioner (CLC), Deputy CLC, and Assistant Labour Commissioner in New Delhi by the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), which claims to represent about 900 pilots who operate Air India's narrow-body aircraft.

The grouping requested in the letter that the management of the airline begin conciliation proceedings to resolve a number of issues. Air India didn't respond right away with a response.

The Air India management is reportedly considering making some modifications to the service conditions for its pilots, and the ICPA has urged that its members be contacted before any changes are made.

“The Indian Commercial Pilots Association requests you to take urgent note of the escalating situation, and immediately and without any further delay, restrain the management of Air India Ltd from changing the conditions of service of its pilots... especially since the management continues to remain unresponsive to the pleas of its pilots.”

–the letter stated.

According to ICPA, Section 9-A of the Industrial Dispute Act (read with the Fourth Schedule of the ID Act) requires that an employer give reasonable notice (as prescribed) before making any changes to a worker's terms of employment, such as their salary, allowances, concessions, or privileges.

Campbell Wilson, the Managing Director and CEO of Air India are among those who have received copies of the letter from ICPA

“In this regard, we, ICPA, had sent two letters/demand notices to Air India Ltd, on 24.10.2022 and 21.12.2022, respectively, requesting the Air India management to inter alia involve us, as representative of the pilots, in deliberations regarding any change in conditions of service before any precipitative steps are taken.”

–the letter stated.

Campbell Wilson, the Managing Director and CEO of Air India, SD Tripathi, the Chief of Human Resources, and RS Sandhu, the Chief Operating Officer are among those who have received copies of the letter from ICPA. The union has asked for the start of conciliation proceedings with the airline's management in the letter to resolve a number of issues.

Source: ET

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Thai Smile flight, Bangkok to Kolkata assault incident; BCAS takes probe

Sakshi Jain

30 Dec 2022

A passenger on Thai Smile Airways who had reclined his seat and disobeyed the cabin crew's safety instructions started a brawl onboard on Tuesday, December 27.

Flight WE313 operated by Thai Smile was scheduled to depart Bangkok at 11.30 p.m. and land in Kolkata at 12.40 a.m. when the event occurred. 

At 11.30 p.m., Thai Smile's flight WE313 was supposed to take off from Bangkok and arrive in Kolkata at 12.40 a.m.

A man in seat 37C reclined his seat as the plane was taxiing at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, according to The Times of India. The customer claimed he had a backache when the flight attendants urged him to sit up straight, according to a Thai Smile Airways report of the event sent to India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The cabin crew explained that the seat needed to be upright so that it wouldn't obstruct emergency exits or impede people behind from adopting the brace position.

The Times of India said that the passenger's response was, "I fly often, I know what to do." The passenger responded as soon as he was informed that breaking safety regulations would result in a complaint to the pilot: "Okay, tell him. I am not scared.”

In an interview with India's NDTV, Mr Alok Kumar, a passenger sitting in row 37C behind the man, said that the man was "rude to the next level." Mr Kumar claimed that other passengers and cabin crews were shouting at the man to obey safety guidelines as well as "pleading" with him to sit up straight.

According to the complaint, when other passengers approached the person in seat 37C to discuss their disagreement with his behaviour, a brawl broke out.

Senior editor Saurabh Sinha of The Times of India released a video of the encounter on Twitter. It depicts two men speaking loudly, with a member of the cabin crew standing in between them, one wearing a dark dress shirt and the other a grey polo shirt.


Four additional male passengers later join the group. The man in grey can then be seen repeatedly beating and slapping the dark-shirted man in the head. The staff and other passengers reportedly tried to break up the altercation. After informing the flight's captain, takeoff was postponed.

The passengers who were fighting were not escorted off the plane. They went back to their seats, and soon the plane took off. According to The Times of India, cabin crews maintained an eye on the passengers involved in the altercation throughout the flight, and the passenger in seat 37C was not given alcohol. There were no additional reported fights, and the flight continued as usual.

According to Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, India's Union Minister for Civil Aviation, a police report has been filed against the involved passengers. He tweeted, "Such behaviour is unacceptable.”


Thai Smile Airways has said it "feels sorry" for the incident. The airline wrote on Twitter, "We reaffirm that the incident has been taken care of as we followed the flight safety procedures in accordance with international standards.”

"Our flight crews have already provided support to the persons affected by an incident.," the statement reads. The airline claimed that the flight's crew made an "urgent effort" to resolve the matter in a statement that CNA received on Friday.


A police report was made about the altercation between passengers on the flight the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).

“BCAS has examined all reports from various entities, including those on social media and has taken a serious view of the incident. It has filed a police case under appropriate sections against all involved in the jurisdictional police station in Bidhannagar, West Bengal. The police has already started its investigations. Further action shall follow.”

-Zulfiquar Hasan, Director General, BCAS

Source: TOI

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Say hello to "Black Swan"- the world's first 'cargo drone airline'


30 Dec 2022

Brace yourselves. A brand-new cargo plane is about to enter service.

Black Swan, a pilotless freight aircraft the size of a delivery truck will be unveiled soon by the Bulgarian firm "Dronamics".

The company is creating and operating an all-inclusive middle-mile service using its Black Swan cargo drone. According to Dronamics, it is the first cargo drone airline in the world and can make same-day deliveries to the most remote locations while being up to 80% faster, 50% less expensive, and 60% less polluting than other modes of transportation.

Reportedly, brothers Konstantin and Svilen Rangelov from Bulgaria are the inventors of the concept. When Amazon started experimenting with drone delivery in 2013, the two reportedly began researching the market.

The brothers thought there was a better way to deliver individualized items to each client, but they were discouraged by the logistical challenges involved in using small drones like Amazon's to carry goods directly to houses.

Most small delivery drones are an attempt to solve the last-mile problem. They are the bike messenger, we are the cross-country truck- the company told news outlet Drone DJ in 2018

Tech and specs

The Black Swan, unlike other aircraft that aren't built exclusively for cargo, can transport the same amount of cargo over a distance of up to 2,500 km for less money, time, and carbon emissions than a compact cargo van.


Wingspan16m / 52ftFuselage8m / 26ftHeight4m / 13ftDiameter1.3m / 4.3ftPayload350kg / 770 lbsCapacity3.5 cmb / 925 galRange2,500 km / 1,550 miAltitude20,000 ftSpeed200 km/h / 125 mphDronamics

A single-propeller Rotax engine produced by the Austrian business BRP-Rotax, which is owned by Bombardier Recreational Products, powers the routes.


It is reportedly the first freight drone licensed to fly in the EU, having been constructed by a world-class internal avionics team. Its landing strips can be as short as 400 meters (14 mile), and it can have its engine serviced anywhere in the world.

It is certified as CarbonNeutral and features a temperature-controlled environment for perishables.

The airplane uses only sustainable aviation fuel and will be mass-produced in Germany and Australia. This will encourage the "fastest and greenest" method of shipping goods and reduce emissions by 60%.

A network of droneports with easy integration and fully mobile operations

Fully transportable droneport freight equipment and a global, autonomous, and semi-autonomous remote fleet control system power the network operation. This makes it possible for Dronamics to easily integrate into the supply chain of any company because it can travel where conventional aircraft cannot. Additionally, there is a significant decrease in time, expense, and emissions due to the absence of the requirement for local warehousing.

The company's droneports can be set up in unused airfields, airports, seaports, logistical hubs, and factory lots and require little in the way of infrastructure. All that is required are paved or unpaved airstrips longer than 400 meters so that communities and companies may be connected who have not previously had access to economical same-day delivery and serve underutilized routes.


Dronamics is developing new direct routes through its network of droneports, using Europe as its inaugural market. When Black Swan is ready for use, Dronamics intends to run it as the first freight drone airline in the world, beginning with flights over water and around the Mediterranean, such as in Greece or Cyprus.

Black Swan has been named by Freightweek as the "2022 Sustainable Drone Technology Company of the Year".

SOURCE : Business Insider | Dronamics

COVER : Dronamics