Here’s How Indian Courts Are Addressing Frozen Poop Falling From The Sky

Back in October a case was filed in Indian courts regarding frozen poop that was apparently falling from the sky over New Delhi, causing damage to neighborhoods, and in one case even injuring someone. Per Bloomberg:

Satwant Singh Dahiya, a resident near New Delhi’s airport, filed a case in October saying houses in his neighbourhood 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.

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This case has now been heard in an Indian green court, which has ordered safety regulators to ensure that planes aren’t dumping human waste when flying. In practice this means that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation will have to conduct surprise checks on planes after flights to ensure that their waste tanks aren’t empty. If an airliner is found to have an empty waste tank on landing, the airline will be fined:

Airlines will have to pay 50,000 rupees (CAD$986) 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.

Assuming the waste was in fact from an airliner, I would assume that it was due to some malfunction, rather than intentional.

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Regardless, I’ve always felt bad for the people who have to clean out airplane tanks for a living, though it’s my understanding that they’re fairly well compensated.

It looks like the number of people who will have to deal with these tanks in India is about to increase…

Comments

  1. That Indian courts have to get involved to do basic policing of existing regulations does not speak well of the capabilities of the Indian air safety regulator.

  2. Thanks for the Scoop on the Poop Lucky! On top of that, I learned a new word today: ‘Excreta’ which obviously is a Latin derivation of ‘excrement’, but seriously, who knew!

    Take away question: When your post quotes: “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.” When said excreta ‘falls off’ the planes surface, does it leave a skid-mark? Sorry, I had to ask!!

  3. I used to work the lav truck / lav disposal for JetBlue ground Ops. Same low pay as the bag tossers and pushback drivers and provo guys. No extra bonus poop pay….

  4. Russ and TimG are correct. No extra poop pay. In fact, the pay is pretty crappy now a days. (Sorry about that… it was just out there and had to do it.)

  5. Once lived in New Jersey and expierenced a fly-by from a flock of Canadian Geese – blue ice couldn’t be any worse……

  6. Ben, why did you show the picture of Air India though (unless any real accusations) ? There are other Indian Carriers as well.
    After looking this picture, it looks like Indian Media article where they just post a picture of Air India for any news linked with Avaition.

  7. The airliner can’t intentionally “dump” the holding tank while in flight. There is an exterior latch system that can only be opened by ground crews. Don’t think it’s possible with the vacuum toilets installed in aircraft over the last 30 or so years. There used to be incidents when the airliners would use the blue chemicals, but those days are long gone.

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