Friday, March 25, 2016

AI pilots top safety breach list

New Delhi: Twenty Air India pilots reported drunk for duty, 33 flew without getting mandatory proficiency checks done on time and 12 invited friends or relatives into cockpits, says a government report that shows the state-run airline led domestic carriers in such violations.

The civil aviation ministry dossier has listed 165 breaches of safety rules among all airlines from January 2013 to February this year, leading to warnings, suspensions or cancellation of licences. Air India was followed by Jet Airways and IndiGo, while a few such incidents by pilots of GoAir and SpiceJet were also listed in the report.

Senior ministry officials said the dossier had been prepared on the basis of incidents reported to the aviation regulator, the directorate-general of civil aviation. "From time to time, we look to see if there has been any spurt in such cases and if necessary, we issue fresh guidelines to airlines to stop such occurrences. The dossier is part of that exercise," a joint secretary said.

The most frequent violation was operating flights without getting proficiency checks done on time. Pilots are required to get such tests - which test their ability to handle emergencies like terror alerts or turbulent weather and other key skills - done every six months. "Many pilots don't take the tests seriously enough. In such cases, they are given warnings if it is the first time. For the second time, the pilots are suspended," a DGCA official said.
24/03/16 Sumi Sukanya/Telegraph
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