An Indian green court has ordered the country’s aviation safety regulator to ensure planes don’t dump human waste during flights, Bloomberg reports.
The court ruled on a petition by a New Delhi resident who claimed his neighborhood had to endure excreta that fell from the skies.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the safety regulator, should conduct surprise checks on aircraft when they land to ensure their human waste containers aren’t empty, a three-member panel said in an order.
Satwant Singh Dahiya, a resident near New Delhi’s airport, filed a case in October saying houses in his neighborhood were damaged by feces dumped by airlines at night.
In another incident, a 60-year-old woman suffered a shoulder injury in December last year probably caused by human excreta falling from the skies, the Times of India newspaper reported.
Airlines will have to pay 50,000 rupees (US$735) every time their human waste tanks are found empty on landing, and the DGCA must maintain a helpline to take complaints on falling excreta, the tribunal said.
Aircraft lavatories have tanks attached to them to store waste. These are emptied at airports by the ground crew on landing. However, some excreta can be discharged mid-air in case of a leakage due to technical faults. These are converted to ice at high altitude and fall off the plane’s surface.
The Central Pollution Control Board, a government body, could not ascertain whether a sample it tested was human or bird waste, although the court said chemicals present in the sample clearly indicated that it was human excreta.
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