Sunday, June 15, 2014

Directorate General of Civil Aviation gets strict on drunk pilots: Pilots and crew will now also be subjected to examination on arrival in India after all international flights

Pilots and cabin crew will have to undergo breathalyzer test before flying chartered or non-scheduled aircraft. Earlier, the norms allowed tests to be carried out for only 60 percent of non-scheduled flights.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has made the punishment for reporting drunk on duty more stringent and a pilot’s license will be cancelled for a third offense. Foreign pilots will lose the authorization or permit to fly in India for the first offense. DGCA issues foreign pilots work permits on the basis of their license.

The modified rules have been issued this week and come in the wake of recent inspections and checks on non-scheduled and chartered flight operators. The checks revealed rampant flouting of norms by operators.

In March, DGCA had suspended licenses of 10 pilots and six cabin crew of GMR group for not undergoing breathalyzer tests. It had also said tests were not carried out regularly. The Delhi High Court stayed the DGCA’s suspension order.

“For operators other than the scheduled operators, each flight and cabin crew of all flights originating from India shall be subjected to pre-flight breathalyzer examination. However, where infrastructure does not exist, the flight and cabin crew shall undergo post-flight breathalyzer examination,” say new guidelines.

Already pilots and crew of domestic airlines have to undergo pre-flight checks before all the flights. Now, they will also be subjected to examination on arrival in India after all international flights. Currently, checks are conducted once a fortnight for international flights. Under the modified rules, even engineers and technicians will have to undergo checks before taxiing the aircraft within the airport premises.

The regulator has been facing criticism from aviation experts who believe it has been lenient on the issue.

“We have made the rules stringent and removed certain lacunae,” said a DGCA official. Pilots and crew testing positive for alcohol will be suspended for three months for first offense. In case of repeat violation the suspension will be for three years. Pilots caught for the third time will lose the license permanently.


No comments:

Post a Comment