Association questions DGCA over suspension of AI pilots, crew member | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Association questions DGCA over suspension of AI pilots, crew member

Early this month, the DGCA alleged that the pilots and the cabin crew on Singapore, Goa, Kuwait, Ahmedabad and Bangkok sectors skipped alcohol test after landing

mumbai Updated: Sep 11, 2017 23:34 IST
Neha LM Tripathi
After the DGCA alleged that a large number of on board AI crew skipped the test, the ICPA issued an internal letter proposing the action it intends to take against the allegations.
After the DGCA alleged that a large number of on board AI crew skipped the test, the ICPA issued an internal letter proposing the action it intends to take against the allegations. (HT photo)

A week after the aviation watchdog decided to suspend 132 pilots and 400 cabin crew members of Air India (AI) for skipping the mandatory Breath Analyser (BA) test, the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) on Monday wrote to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Questioning DGCA’s motive, the association said the airline does not have a medical facility at transit airports owing to which the BA test is carried out at the final destination as known by the regulator.

“The DGCA is only penalising pilots from two specific flights and suspending their licences while ignoring the rest of the flight with one stop,” said Captain T Praveen Keerthi, general secretary, ICPA.

Early this month, the DGCA alleged that the pilots and the cabin crew on Singapore, Goa, Kuwait, Ahmedabad and Bangkok sectors skipped the alcohol test after landing.

As per aviation safety rules, on board crew members must undergo BA test before and after flying. If any of the crew member tests positive for alcohol or skips the test, s/he is grounded.

After the DGCA alleged that a large number of on board AI crew skipped the test, the ICPA issued an internal letter proposing the action it intends to take against the allegations.

BS Bhullar, director general, DGCA, remained unavailable for comment.

The ICPA also sought explanation for suspending licenses in a phased manner as against the de-rostering any on board crew member with immediate effect as per the rules. It also questioned the DGCA’s motive in initiating air safety audit, including the BA test, since the last three months despite the introduction of Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) in August 2015.

“If the regulator is keen on taking action against the wrong doers then why are they not accessing data from the day the CAR was issued? They have also considered records of only two flights from Kuwait to Chennai via Goa and Dubai to Bangalore via Goa. What about flights from other Air India networks,” questioned an ICPA member.