Worried about security risks arising out of in-flight selfies, aviation regulator DGCA may soon ask airlines to strictly enforce a ban on taking pictures inside the cockpit and at other critical places, including by crew members.
While existing rules also put some restrictions on in-flight photography, the regulator will come out with a detailed set of guidelines in a few days in the wake of certain cases coming to the light about possible security risks from clicking cockpit selfies.
With increased use of smart devices, there have been many instances of travellers as well as crew members, including pilots, clicking photographs inside flights.
Against this backdrop, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is working on guidelines for airlines that would cover various aspects of photography inside an aircraft including selfies.
A senior DGCA official today said the regulator would be soon coming with a circular in this regard, mostly likely next week. "It will be a safety circular for providing guidance to airlines," the official said, even as he made it clear that there are already rules in place for "photograph at aerodromes or from aircraft in flight".
According to the official, the circular would cover issues such as whether photography is permitted in cockpit including selfies. The aspects like at what stage of a flight can ground photography be permitted might also included in the circular, he added.
Recently, six pilots of IndiGo came under the scanner of DGCA for allegedly taking pictures in the cockpit with family members. Under the Aircraft Rules, 1937, photography from an aircraft in flight is prohibited unless there is prior permission from authorities concerned.
"Photograph at aerodromes or from aircraft in flight – No person shall take, or cause or permit to be taken, at a Government aerodrome or from an aircraft in flight, any photograph except in accordance with and subject to the terms and conditions of a permission in writing...," as per the rules.
According to the Rules, such permission would be granted by the Director-General, a Joint Director General, a Deputy Director-General or the Director of Regulations and Information of the Civil Aviation Department.
US aviation regulator FAA has also put in place restrictions on pilots taking in-flight selfies subject to certain conditions.
(Feature image source: AFP)