Wednesday, March 30, 2016

DGCA blurry on rest time for crew on ultra-long haul flights

In a damaging indication as to how casually decisions are made at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the Indian aviation regulator has admitted that before starting direct New Delhi-San Francisco flights, it did not take into consideration any scientific studies done by other regulators or the time difference between New York and San Francisco.

National carrier Air India (AI) had, last December, started direct New Delhi-San Francisco flights to connect the US' West Coast to India and to reduce the travel time by about six hours. In a reply to a Right To Information (RTI) application, the DGCA also accepted that it did not take into consideration the mandatory rest time given by other airlines on similar ultra-long haul flights.

The RTI plea had been filed by the AI crew members concerned, who claimed that neither the airline nor DGCA had made any arrangements for extra rest, though the number of flying hours was considerably higher. They stated that it took around 19 hours to reach San Francisco, while it took less than 15 hours to reach New York.
30/03/16 Shahkar Abidi/Daily News & Analysis
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