The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has penalised a total of five chopper operators in Kedarnath with a fine of Rs 5 lakh each. The DGCA took this step as it found that the operators were flouting safety rules and were failing to maintain proper flying records. As per DGCA, an audit was conducted recently after an incident of rough landing was reported in Kedarnath on May 30. Post which, DGCA officials could come across discrepancies and infractions in flying records and also, the non-compliance of safety rules by the operators. Following the audit, DGCA performed spot checks of choppers that are being operated to ferry pilgrims in Kedarnath.
After the spot checks, serious violations came to light, prompting the regulator to conduct a detailed audit of all operators undertaking the shuttle operations.
The audit took place from June 13 to 16. It disclosed serious violations including five operators who were found not maintaining correct flying records in their respective helicopter Technical Log Books.
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In addition to the five operators, two others were also found to have violated the provisions of the Joint SOP promulgated by the DGCA.
Show Cause notices (SCNs) were issued to seven operators involved in the violations.
On receipt of replies, a personal hearing was granted, and after due deliberations enforcement action was recommended and approved, the same was issued to all seven operators.
“For all the five operators involved in incorrect maintenance of flying records, a penalty of Five Lakh Rupees was awarded respectively; while for the two additional operators involved in violation of provisions of Joint SOP, suspension of their respective Director Operations was awarded for a period of 03 months each. Consequent to the enforcement actions taken by DGCA, the remaining part of the yatra flying till the arrival of monsoons was free from any adverse incidents,” said a senior DGCA official.
With inputs from IANS