NEW DELHI – An Indian court has ruled the airlines in the country will be fined Rs. 50,000 ($736; £594) if their planes release human waste from toilets in the air.

A petitioner had alleged that aircraft had been dumping waste over residential areas near the airport in capital Delhi.

Plane toilets store human waste in special tanks. These are normally disposed of once the plane has landed. But international aviation authorities acknowledge that lavatory leaks can occur in the air.


The National Green Tribunal, an environment court, also directed the regulator to ensure “that aircraft on landing shall be subjected to surprise inspection to see that human waste tanks are not empty,” the Press Trust of India reported.

“If any aircraft is found to be violating such circular or [their] tanks are found empty on landing, they shall be subjected to environment compensation of 50,000 rupees per default,” the court said.

The order followed a plea by a retired army officer who accused airlines of dumping human waste over Delhi’s residential areas.

The officer said the “walls and floors” of the terrace of his house near the airport “are splattered with large patches of excreta dumped by aircraft flying in front of the airport.”

However, it could not be conclusively proved that the waste came from the flying aircraft.

Also, the aviation ministry contested the petitioner’s claim and said the plane toilets stored the waste in special tanks that were normally cleared by the ground crew once the plane landed.

Source: PTI, BBC