Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is likely to ground over 130 pilots and 430 cabin crew members of national carrier air India for allegedly skipping the mandatory pre- and post-flight alcohol test. Over a period of time for flights to and from certain destinations such as Singapore, Kuwait, Bangkok, Ahmedabad and Goa, the crew members had regularly been “evading” the breath analyser test, sources close to the development said.
On Monday the issue went unanswered the queries e-mailed to Air India spokesperson. As per DGCA:
- In 2016, 224 pilots and crew members of various airlines failed the test.
- In 2015, 202 pilots and crew members failed the test.
DGCA Aviation regulator has already served an ultimatum to the Air India management over the alleged safety violations by the airline’s crew members ahead of its enforcement action, all pilots and cabin crew must undergo breath analyser test before and after flights, as part of the DGCA’s safety regulations.
“To the notice of Air India management the DGCA already brought it that its 132 pilots and 434 cabin crew have evaded the mandatory breath analyser test, which is to be taken both before and after operating a flight. (DGCA) is taking a suitable action, it is a safety violation against these crew members,” a source said.
A large number of crew members could cripple, since the grounding of such the airline’s narrow body operations, the DGCA is likely to enforce its action in a phased manner.
As per the operations and a Board member at the disinvestment-bound Air India, Kathpalia is now the head. So the rule goes like that crew members in the aircraft are prohibit from taking any alcoholic drink 12 hours prior to the commencement of a flight.
A breath-analyser test is required to initiate disciplinary proceedings if any crew member who tests positive in the pre-flight medical check or refuses to take it will be taken off flying duty, for at least four weeks.