ruling on a plea by a New Delhi resident who claimed his neighbourhood 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 headed by Swatanter Kumar, chairman of the National Green Tribunal said in an order.
Satwant Singh Dahiya, a resident near New Delhi’s airport, filed a case in October saying houses in his neighbourhood were damaged by faeces 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.