Saturday, October 26, 2013

Directorate General of Civil Aviation to go soft on drunk Indian pilots, harsh on foreign peers

Indian aviation regulator is planning to go soft on drunk pilots. It has proposed that no previous case of drunk pilots reporting for duty should be considered when calculating how many times a pilot or member of aircraft crew has been found drunk from now on. The regulator has also proposed that on second violation, the pilots or crew member’s license be suspended for just two years instead of five proposed earlier. The five year suspension should apply only for the third violation. 

In a draft Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR), the DGCA has proposed that a first violation will earn a pilot or any other aircraft crew member merely a three month license suspension. This means such a crew member cannot be given any flight duties for three months. But if a crew member is found drunk the second time, license suspension is for two years while at a third violation, license will be suspended for five years. As per present rules, crew failing the breath analyzer test the first time is grounded for three months while a second offense results in grounding for five years.

 Will license suspension be reason enough for the pilots to stay sober before operating a flight if they know the license will be back after some time and is not being cancelled? 

 But the regulator proposes to be quite harsh on foreign pilots who operate flights in India because the proposal says even a single instance of drunk arrival for duty will mean cancellation and not mere suspension of their license. Besides, their license issuing authority will be informed.

 Every time the pilots and crew arrive for operating a flight in India, they must necessarily undergo a pre-flight medical check (PFMC). In the draft posted on its website, the DGCA has said all people associated with operating a flight – including engineers – need to subjected to PFMC daily in case it is from a scheduled operator. Even if any of the crew members tests positive for alcohol after the flight has landed at its destination, such person will have to surrender license till DGCA completes an examination.

The DGCA has also proposed that apart from standard alcohol testing procedures, the doctor conducting PFMC should also examine to crew member visually to see if any suspicions are aroused.

Story and Comments/Reaction:

No comments:

Post a Comment