Monday, November 14, 2016

Pilots reporting sick, DGCA sends doctors to their homes

After observing a pattern wherein pilots rostered for flights on weekends and during the festive season regularly report sick which leads to flight cancellations and delays, the Director General of Civil Aviation has asked airlines to report such pilots to them. Airlines have started sending doctors to the homes of pilots to check if they are ill.

According to the DGCA circular issued to pilots, patterns have been observed wherein pilots rostered for flights report sick especially during times of festivals, weekends or during periods of disagreement with the management over work related issues. “In some cases, groups of pilots report sick without notice and as a result airlines are forced to delay or cancel their flights at the last minute,” the circular said, adding that such action on the part of pilots causes inconvenience and harassment to the passengers.

Recently, several Jet Airways pilots reported sick to protest its new crew rostering system, which led to over 50 of its flights being delayed or cancelled. On October 28, a Mumbai-Chennai flight on which actor Abhishek Bachchan was travelling was delayed due to a pilot-related issue.

DGCA chief BS Bhullar said that pilots reporting sick in the form of a concerted move was a highly undesirable practice which could attract penalties under the provisions of the Aircraft Rules of 1937. “The Central government may debar a person permanently or temporarily from holding any license or rating mentioned in rule 38 if, in its opinion, it is necessary to do so in the public interest,” Bhullar said.
14/11/16 Aditya Anand/Mumbai Mirror
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