Limit flight hours for pilots, Delhi HC directs DGCA
The court said DGCA had no authority to grant any exemption or deviation from maximum limit of flying timing and duty period.india Updated: Apr 19, 2018 01:00 IST
The Delhi high court on Wednesday expressed concerns that fatigued pilots and cabin crew are posing a risk to passenger safety and directed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to prescribe a specific flight and duty time limitation (FDTL) for them.
The court’s order came while disposing of a plea filed by Yeshwanth Shenoy, a lawyer, which raised concern over possible fatigue caused to pilots and other airline crew by long flying hours.
In his plea, Shenoy claimed that the aviation regulator was violating a rule that stipulates that a pilot cannot fly more than 125 hours over a period of 30 days.
A bench of acting chief justice Gita Mittal and justice C Hari Shankar held that the regulator is bound to follow the amended Rule 42A of the Aircraft Rules, 1937, which deals with the fatigue management of flight and cabin crew.
“As far as the submission of the petitioner that the DGCA has no authority to grant any exemption or deviation from maximum limit of flying timing and duty period is concerned, there is substance in it,” the bench said.
The bench also took to task the DGCA for allowing airlines to change the stipulated FDTL.
It directed the DGCA to examine the existing Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR), 2011 in accordance with the provisions of Rule 42A and Rule 133A within a period of one year.
A DGCA official said on condition of anonymity that the regulator would take action after examining the order.