The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) — an association of erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots — has written to aviation minister, Ajit Singh asking him reconsider his decision to withdraw the facility for pilots to travel as additional crew member (ACM) during time off.
Singh had cracked the whip on the misuse of free travel facility after it was revealed that a grounded pilot travelled to Dubai as an ACM, against the rules.
“We have come to understand that the AI management has decided to deny pilots the privilege to travel as ACMs on empty non-revenue jump seats. The jump seating pilot is considered to be an extra set of eyes in the cockpit, an added level of safety, and in today’s day and age an extra security barrier. A pilot considers this longstanding tradition of airline pilot jump seat as a privilege and professional courtesy,” the ICPA wrote.
“Today, worldwide most airlines allow unlimited pilot jump seaters, this meaning that if all cockpit jump seats are occupied then any open cabin seat is considered an available jump seat. Several airlines in developed nations like the US even permit pilots to travel as ACM on a reciprocal basis, meaning that a pilot employed with one carrier can travel as ACM even with a rival carrier,” the letter said.
“This courtesy is important to pilots because a majority are based away from hometowns, and this jump seat privilege allows an active pilot to commute to work after a break,” it said.