Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Over 130 pilots, 430 crew members of Air India likely to be grounded

Mumbai: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is likely to ground over 130 pilots and 430 cabin crew members of national carrier Air India for allegedly skipping the mandatory pre and post-flight alcohol test.

These crew members had regularly been "evading" the breath analyser test over a period of time for flights to and from certain destinations such as Singapore, Kuwait, Bangkok, Ahmedabad and Goa, sources close to the development told PTI here.

Aviation regulator DGCA has already served an ultimatum to the Air India management over the alleged safety violations by the airline's crew members ahead of its enforcement action, they said.

As part of the DGCA's safety regulations, all pilots and cabin crew must undergo breath analyser test before and after flights.

The queries e-mailed yesterday on the issue to Air India spokesperson went unanswered.

Notably, aircraft rules prohibit crew members from taking any alcoholic drink 12 hours prior to the commencement of a flight.

"The DGCA already brought it to the notice of Air India management that its 132 pilots and 434 cabin crew have evaded the mandatory breath analyser test, which is to be taken both before and after operating a flight. It is a safety violation and it (DGCA) is taking a suitable action against these crew members," a source said.

Since the grounding of such a large number of crew members could cripple the airline's narrow body operations, the DGCA is likely to enforce its action in a phased manner, said a source.
05/09/17 Economic Times

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