Saturday, February 25, 2017

Union warns of no-confidence motion against Air India pilot

The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), Air India’s pilots’ union, has threatened to move a noconfidence motion against Captain A.K. Kathpalia for continuing as the carrier’s head of operations despite his flying licence being suspended by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for evading a mandatory breathalyser test.

The ICPA, in a letter through its general secretary Captain Praveen Keerthi, said that being the head of flight operations in Air India and chief of flight operations inspector in the past, Kathpalia was well acquainted with aviation rules and regulations.

“He wilfully did not report the matter to the director of air safety and operated flights after evading the breathalyser test on January 19. The DGCA found him guilty post-inquiry and suspended him on February 7,” the letter read.

The ICPA further pointed out that as per civil aviation requirements of the DGCA, a pilot operating an aircraft without undergoing breathalyser examination or trying to evade the mandatory medical test should be kept off-flying duty.

“This rule is strictly followed in India. In fact, there are instances of pilots not being allowed to complete the route and taken off duty on first landing after they were found to have skipped breathalyser test, whereas Capt. Kathpalia had operated a flight from Delhi to Bangalore and back on the same day. On several other occasions, he had skipped the breathalyser test. He did not report to the authorities that he had not taken the test and tried to cover it up,” the letter said, warning of a no-confidence motion against him.
25/02/17 Aditya Anand/Mumbai Mirror