The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has moved the National Green Tribunal, seeking a stay and a review of its order directing the aviation regulator to stop airlines from disposing of human waste mid-air, PTI reported. The DGCA, in its plea, said that it was impossible to empty toilet tanks during flights.

“The aircraft system has three levels of in-built external protection for disposing the waste,” the DGCA petition said. “Under no circumstances is release of waste during flight possible and there has been no such resort ever by the operators. The modern day airline toilets are sealed, and cannot be emptied in flight. Toilet waste can only be disposed of by manual operation on ground during the aircraft’s servicing.”

The DGCA’s plea also pointed out that an expert committee constituted by the National Green Tribunal to examine the matter found that there is no switch or system available in aircraft to dispose of waste during flight.

The petition was in response to a December 2016 direction by the National Green Tribunal, instructing the DGCA to ask airlines to discontinue the practice of dumping human waste mid-air. The NGT had also directed the aviation regulator to warn airlines that Rs 50,000 would be levied as a fine for dumping human waste mid-air.

The tribunal’s instruction was based on a petition filed by Lieutenant General (retired) Satwant Singh Dahiya alleging that faeces were splattered from an aircraft on his South Delhi house before Diwali in 2016.