A senior AI pilot evading breath checks before flights, union tells DGCA

Updated on Jan 31, 2017 10:13 PM IST

A senior Air India (AI) pilot has been evading pre-flight breath checks, a pilots’ union told Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The DGCA data stated that such safety lapses almost tripled from 69 cases in 2011 to 186 in 2015.(Pic for Representation)
The DGCA data stated that such safety lapses almost tripled from 69 cases in 2011 to 186 in 2015.(Pic for Representation)
Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

A senior Air India (AI) pilot has been evading pre-flight breath checks, a pilots’ union told Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

On Monday, the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA), an 800+ member body reported the matter. “It has been brought to our notice that one of the executive directors, who is a pilot, has been evading pre-flight medical tests endangering the safety of innocent flying passengers and crew members,” read the note.

Pre-flight breath checks are mandatory for pilots and cabin crew before every flight as a precautionary measure. The DGCA’s rules state that skipping these checks amount to the same as testing positive for alcohol.

The note also asked the regulator to pull out AI’s medical records and the close circuit television footage of the airline’s facility to conduct the checks in Delhi.

“Action has been taken against pilots who had genuinely forgotten to do post flight breath analyser tests. Stringent action should be taken against this person for covering up the matter,” said an ICPA member.

Last year, the HT had reported that at least one pilot tested every two days between January and June in 2016.

The DGCA data stated that such safety lapses almost tripled from 69 cases in 2011 to 186 in 2015. The AI spokesperson did not answer HT’s calls.

Also read

At least one pilot tested positive for alcohol every 2 days from Jan to June

Licence of Jet Airways, Air India pilots suspended for being drunk

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Soubhik Mitra is an assistant editor with the Hindustan Times. The Mumbai boy has spent over a decade reporting on civic, environmental and political issues. His current stint is the longest where he writes on aviation and travel.

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