For the first time in the history of Indian aviation, criminal cases would be registered against two senior pilots and two cabin crew members belonging to Air India (AI) and Jet Airways, who were caught drunk after operating passenger flights.
The flight safety department of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has directed AI and Jet to get FIRs registered against the four, and file compliance reports in a week.
HT first reported on August 11 that the two pilots had tested positive for alcohol after operating international flights – the first such safety violation in India.
“Licence of both pilots of AI and Jet found +ve on alcohol test suspended for 4 yrs. Directions issued to lodge FIR. Imprisonment upto 1 yr,” aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju tweeted.
“The blood alcohol content of the AI pilot was particularly high at .025. Two cabin crew —one each of AI and Jet — were caught drunk,” said a DGCA official. Jet said it had sacked the pilot. On August 10, the pilot of AI’s Sharjah-Kozhikode flight tested positive for alcohol. On August 3, the pilot of Jet’s Abu Dhabi-Chennai flight was found drunk.
Meanwhile, the DGCA has suspended 11 pilots belonging to Jet Airways, AI, Air Pegasus and Trujet for flying beyond the maximum permissible flying hours after taking action against 63 SpiceJet pilots for similar violation. It has also issued show-cause notices to these airlines.