Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Jet Airways pilots urge aviation ministry to 'involve them' in new set of rules and regulations

Union Minister for Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju. 

Jet Airways' domestic pilots union, National Aviator's Guild (NAG), has urged the Civil Aviation Ministry to involve all stakeholders while formulating rules and regulations concerning the pilots.

In a meeting of its Delhi-based members held in the national capital on Saturday, the NAG also expressed hope that its inputs on the Directorate General of Civil Aviation's (DGCA) proposal to extend the job leaving notice period to one year for commanders, from the present six months, will be given "due consideration", a source said.

The NAG pilots, along with those from Indian Pilots Guild and Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), are at loggerheads with the aviation regulator DGCA over the issue of extension in notice period. They are opposed to any change in
the current regulations.

The DGCA had proposed to make it mandatory for commanders to serve a one-year notice period before leaving the job, and six months in case of first officers (co-pilots). Currently, the pilots are required to serve a six-month notice period.

The pilots are also agitated over a police complaint against 34 of their fraternity members recently lodged by the aviation regulator for an alleged "obscene" WhatsApp message against a senior DGCA official. The complaint was, however, later withdrawn.

"In the meeting, the pilots were briefed about the recent developments, including communication to the Civil Aviation Ministry opposing the draft rules," the source said. The views of the members were also sought, he said, adding that "further steps will depend upon the response of the ministry on the issues".

"On our our part, we are always open to a dialogue if the ministry wishes so," the source said. "In future, it is our humble submission that the ministry involve all stakeholders before formulating rules or regulations affecting the concerned parties."

Original article can be found here: http://www.firstpost.com

NEW DELHI: The confrontation sparked by a wrong designation (in an email communication) between India's aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and commercial pilots has snowballed.

The pilots on Wednesday asked the government to act against the DGCA official. In a letter to aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, the unions of Jet Airways and Air India pilots have collectively sought "immediate suspension and departmental action" against Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) joint DG Lalit Gupta.

The DGCA had prepared a draft proposal to extend notice period of commanders to a year and public comments were supposed to be sent to Gupta before finalizing this rule.

Among the individuals who have raised their objections to draft policy include a former Indian Air Force fighter pilot employed with the Jet Airways, who had erroneously typed the wrong designation of Gupta while addressing him. "The officer retaliated by making wild allegations about the state of the pilot's mental health and sought to harm him and nine other pilots by levelling similar allegations against them all, as well as reporting them to their employer. All of them have been derostered from flights," the joint letter "representing the majority" of Jet, AI and other major Indian airline pilots says.

"Apart from these, some other airline pilots from a wide cross section of the industry, who had expressed personal views about these developments, in private internet chat groups, were reported to the Delhi police and harassed," it adds.

The DGCA had lodged a complaint and 13 pilots were questioned at Lodhi Road Police Station on Tuesday. 

Original article can be found here: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

New Delhi: Pilots representing major Indian airlines including Jet Airways Ltd and Air India Ltd have come together to seek action against an official at Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), accusing him of harassment.

In a letter to aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, the prime minister’s office (PMO) and the DGCA the pilots sought action against the regulator’s official Lalit Gupta.

“The majority of pilots across all air transport undertakings in India have now united to oppose the regulator’s reign of tyranny and harassment once and for all. The honourable PM has banished the use of red beacons on cars and abolished the VIP culture but for how long will this arrogant mindset last amongst public servants like Mr Gupta? The level of anguish and frustration today amongst pilots has reached a crescendo and we sincerely hope that there is no spontaneous nationwide uprising as a reaction of the continuous oppression,” the Indian Pilots Guild, Indian Commercial Pilot Association and National Aviators Guild said in the letter dated 7 June.

Between them the groupings have about 3,000 pilot members.

The genesis of the issue is a proposed rule that will force pilots to give their existing airline a year’s notice before they join another airline. The current notice is six months.

The pilots are opposed to this.

When they sent their feedback to Gupta, some of the pilots got his designation wrong. A touchy Gupta complained to the airlines and also demanded an apology.

The pilots lashed out at Gupta in a private WhatsApp group, but someone leaked the messages. DGCA then complained to the Delhi Police claiming the messages were “objectionable”. In all, 34 pilots were taken off the flight roster by their airlines at DGCA’s request.

Gupta said the orders have not been issued by him but as per the directive of the civil aviation ministry.

Original article can be found here: http://www.livemint.com

Reports said at least 34 pilots of private fliers SpiceJet, Jet Airways, GoAir and IndiGo have been questioned by the Lodhi Road police in the national capital.

The Delhi Police today said it is examining a group of pilots after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) filed a complaint against them for allegedly making obscene remarks against its officials in a WhatsApp group.

Reports said at least 34 pilots of private fliers SpiceJet, Jet Airways, GoAir and IndiGo have been questioned by the Lodhi Road police in the national capital for posting messages against DGCA officer Lalit Gupta.

"The pilots have been called in for questioning on the basis of a complaint by the DGCA. They have been called in for an inquiry," PTI quoted a senior police official.          

"The text of the message was highly objectionable, unpardonable and obscene language was used against family members of DGCA officials," The Hindu quoted a senior DGCA official, who requested anonymity.


News agency PTI said the pilots were grilled after Gupta, a DGCA Joint Director General, took offence at not being addressed with the correct designation in a letter written by them to him.

It started with the DGCA releasing a notification seeking comments on increasing the notice period of airline pilots from six months to one year.

Some pilots replied to the notification, but got Gupta's designation wrong. They wrote to Lalit Gupta, who is Joint Director General of civil aviation as 'Director General Civil Aviation'.

To which Lalit Gupta took offence and replied to these pilots, questioning their mental alertness and rebuking them for not getting his designation properly.

Lalit Gupta also copied the letter to their technical supervisor, asking for the alertness of these pilots to be reviewed. Gupta also asked for an unconditional apology from these pilots

It was then that some pilots had a conversation about the DGCA on their WhatsApp group. DGCA forwarded the complaint to Delhi Police, saying the pilots were abusing its officer.

Quoting sources in the DGCA, PTI said the aviation regulator has suspended at least ten Jet Airways pilots from flying duties and asked the airline to check their "mental alertness" since "they could not even quote a designation properly".

Original article can be found here:  http://indiatoday.intoday.in

New Delhi:  Thirty-four pilots from four private airlines were suspended, de-rostered and questioned by the police today over aviation regulator DGCA's complaint that they had put up obscene posts on a WhatsApp group. It all started over a wrong designation.

The pilots are from Jet Airways, Spicejet, GoAir and Indigo.  The DGCA or Directorate General of Civil Aviation has submitted to the police screenshots of the WhatsApp chat in which the pilots allegedly used bad language against the regulator.

Sources say the pilots first landed into trouble over flubbing the designation of the Joint Director General of Civil Aviation, Lalit Gupta, in a letter. They had been asked for their feedback on doubling the notice period of pilots from six months to one year. Some responded but addressed Mr Gupta as Director General.

The enraged officer, say sources, sharply reprimanded the pilots and wrote to their technical supervisors urging that their "mental alertness" be checked as "they could not even quote a designation properly".

Mr Gupta also demanded an unconditional apology, say sources.

The pilots reportedly turned to their private WhatsApp group to hit out at the regulator.

The chats were allegedly leaked to the DGCA. Sources describe some of the texts as "highly objectionable" as they even target family members.

The pilots were asked to come to Delhi for their questioning.

Many of their colleagues arrived at the police station in solidarity.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.ndtv.com

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) filed a police complaint against 34 pilots of four airlines for 'making obscene remarks' against its top officials on social media.

In its complaint, DGCA named pilots from Jet Airways, IndiGo,GoAir and SpiceJet. Some of them were summoned at DGCA office and were taken to Lodhi Road police station from here for questioning, according to media reports. Police sources, however, have maintained that no one has been detained and the questioning is merely investigation in DGCA's complaint.

Earlier today, as many as 10 pilots of the Jet Airways have been kept out of flying duties, and their mistake -- quoting incorrectly the designation of a senior DGCA official in a communique.

A communication, sent to the aviation watchdog opposing the proposal to increase the notice period for pilots to one year, in which the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official's designation was written incorrectly, seem to be have backfired with an 'arbitrary' regulatory action against them, sources said.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has recently proposed a notice period of one year for pilots and six months for co-pilots before leaving the services of their current company.

The DGCA and the officer concerned invited comments on the said draft and a few pilots responded. However, in the response, the DGCA official's designation was inadvertently written incorrectly.

"DGCA has filed police complaint against 34 pilots for making obscene remarks against our officials on social media. Any action on that is for the police," DGCA chief BS Bhullar was quoted in a Times of India report.

The report quoted a SpiceJet spokesperson saying, "No SpiceJet pilot has written any derogatory or obscene message against any DGCA official or made any comments on the draft DGCA CAR. One of our pilots had just forwarded some WhatsApp messages to a few friends and colleagues."

Meanwhile, pilots are looking into legal measures to deal with the situation.

Original article can be found here: http://www.businesstoday.in

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