NGT warns Airlines in India against dumping of human waste midair
It’s disgusting. Imagine solid lumps of frozen human excreta from a plane flying overhead decending on your house or as has happened recently falling on a person damaging her shoulder. It is following these reports that National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued orders to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to warn all airlines against disposal of waste mid-air.
This order comes after a resident of Delhi, Lt. Gen. (Retd). Satwant Singh Dahiya, filed a petition seeking action against airlines that dropped excreta around his residence. This waste was picked up by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), following which it was confirmed to be human excreta. Though the exact source could not be identified, the petitioner called the act of dropping waste from the airplane as a “violation of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan”.
It was noted that some planes are emptying human waste tanks while in mid air. Human waste thus discharged from an airplane has the tendency to freeze on falling to the earth from such a great height while it causes a host of problems for people on land. The NGT has directed DGCA to inspect all such tanks when the aircraft lands.
Surprise checks should be carried out and violators should be made to pay INR 50,000 ($735) as environment compensation each time their human waste tanks are found to be empty. The DGCA has also been told to maintain a helpline whereon such complaints and reports of falling human waste can be registered.
For obvious reasons all human waste tanks should be emptied by ground crew at airports but it is only in the case of an emergency leak or technical constraint that tanks can be emptied midair.