Air India fined for insufficient emergency oxygen supply on flights to the US
India's aviation regulator, the DGCA, has fined Air India Rs 1.10 crore (about $132,000) for safety violations on some of its flights to the United States. The carrier is accused of having only 12 minutes of emergency wipers on some of its Boeing 777 aircraft.
According to Simple Flying, last year, a former Air India pilot who flew a Boeing 777-200LR to the United States accused the company of putting passengers at risk by flying an aircraft without a sufficient emergency supply of oxygen.
When flying over normal terrain, 12 minutes is enough time for an airplane to descend to 10,000 feet, where there is sufficient atmospheric oxygen. But some of Air India's US routes are over mountainous terrain where it takes more than 12 minutes for the aircraft to reach 10,000 feet.
The DGCA conducted the inspection after a voluntary flight safety report from an Air India employee and found that the rules had been violated.
Air India disagrees with the DGCA's order and said it is exploring its legal options, including an appeal.
A spokesperson for the airline said: "We do not agree with the order issued by the DGCA. The issues raised have been thoroughly examined by Air India along with external experts who have concluded that there was no compromise on safety. We are studying the order in detail and will consider the options available to us, including our right to appeal as well as approaching the regulator."