The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Sunday clarified that passengers are permitted to take pictures and videos inside flights but cannot use any device that compromises air safety or creates chaos.
The aviation watchdog’s clarification came a day after it announced that violations of in-flight rules, including photography, will lead to a suspension of the scheduled route for two weeks. The order came after reports of violation of safety norms and physical distancing protocols by media persons on IndiGo’s Chandigarh to Mumbai flight, which had actor Kangana Ranaut onboard.
A video shared on social media had showed journalists crowding the aircraft’s aisle and pushing one another to gain access to the actor, in violation of coronavirus-related safety rules.
“It is clarified that a bonafide passenger travelling in an aircraft engaged in scheduled air transport services may do still and video photography from inside such an aircraft while in flight, take off and landing,” DGCA said in an order. “However, this permission does not include use of recording equipment which imperils or compromises air safety; violates prevalent norms; creates chaos or disruption during operation of flight or expressly prohibited by crew.”
The aviation watchdog warned that it will take action against passengers found violating its order.
Ranaut has been locked in a row with the Maharashtra government since she compared Mumbai to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir earlier this month. She had also criticised the Mumbai Police for its handling of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.
The Centre provided Ranaut Y-plus security cover on September 7, which entitles her to a Personal Security Officer and 10 armed commandos.
A passenger who was on the same flight with Ranaut on Wednesday told The Quint that while media persons asked Ranaut several questions, she did not reply to a single one. The passenger also said that the flight attendant had announced that no filming would be allowed inside the flight, but to no avail.
“We have seen some videos wherein media persons are standing too close to each other on board the 6E264 flight on Wednesday,” an unidentified DGCA official said, according to Hindustan Times. “It seems to be a violation of safety and social distancing protocols.”