The aviation regulator has suspended two pilots of Taj Air, a charter company owned by the Tata Group, which also flies its top executives, including chairman emeritus Ratan Tata and chairman Cyrus Mistry, for serious safety violations.
The Directorate General of Civil aviation (DGCA) has also taken action against two other non-scheduled airlines, following surprise checks at the Delhi and Mumbai airports last week.
“Taj Air’s chief pilot had tampered the pre-flight medical records. We have suspended him, a co-pilot and a cabin crew for three months. A show-cause notice is also being issued,” a senior DGCA official said.
According to DGCA rules, pilots and cabin crew have to undergo mandatory pre-flight alcohol tests. These tests are conducted by doctors.
“During a surprise check in Mumbai last week, it was found that the chief pilot had signed on behalf of the doctor,” the official said.
When contacted, a Taj Air spokesperson said, “We are currently investigating the matter and will continue to cooperate with the DGCA. Appropriate action will be taken in case of any non-compliance.”
The Tata Group also has stakes in two scheduled airlines — full-service carrier Vistara and budget airline AirAsia India.Apart from Taj Air, the regulator also found violations by pilots of Kestrel Aviation and Aerotech Aviation. While a pilot of Kestrel Aviation has been suspended for irregularities relating to pre-flight medical checks, two pilots of Aerotech Aviation have been suspended for fudging medical records. "According to Aerotech’s medical register, the same doctor was found to have done medical checks in various stations the same day," the official said. A show-cause is being issued to Aerotech.