Jet Airways pilots have warned of legal action against the country’s aviation regulator for allegedly tweaking safety rules that decide the flight duty hours of the crew to suit commercial interest of airlines.
On Monday, the Society for Welfare of Indian Pilots (SWIP), a body formed by pilots from the largest domestic carrier, served notice to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) demanding withdrawal of last minute amendments of the rules in view of passenger safety.
The legal notice, a copy of which is available with HT, states that the DGCA has been deliberately making changes in the new rules in the name of giving “clarifications” to Air India and Jet Airways.
The new rules originally scheduled to come into effect by February 15 were implemented only on March 25. Currently, the rules are applicable on domestic operations and short-haul (more than 10 hours) international flights. Both Jet Airways and AI have been allowed to operate long-haul international flights according to previous rules.
The concessions granted to Jet Airways and AI include allowing them to fly without an extra pilot as mandated by the new rules for long-haul flights and doing away with the provision of providing the crew two nights rest before their next duty.
“This is blatant disregard of passenger safety which ought to be the primary concern while having such rules,” said a SWIP member requesting anonymity.