Sunday, December 18, 2016

Pilots committed over 200 irregularities in two years

New Delhi: A total of 208 irregularities by pilots of various airlines in India have been reported to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in the past two years, according to a reply given by the Ministry of Civil Aviation in the Lok Sabha recently. These irregularities put in danger the lives of hundreds of passengers flying on various airlines.

The violations by airline operators or crews were observed in areas such as pilot proficiency check (PPC), non-compliance of FDTL (Flight and Duty Time Limitations) requirements, non-compliance of pre-flight medical requirements, unauthorised entry into the cockpit, among others.

According to the report filed in the Lok Sabha, violation of safety norms by airlines has been increasing. In 2015, a total number of 49 cases of violations of “breath analyzer testing” for pilots was reported. The breath analyzer test is used before flying to determine whether, or not, a pilot is under the influence of alcohol. The highest number of violations in 2015 was reported from Indigo Airlines and Jet Airways, where 13 pilots each violated the “breath analyzer testing”, followed by Air India, where 12 pilots violated the “breath analyzer testing”.

Jitender Bhargava, former Executive Director of Air India, told The Sunday Guardian, “This is of a serious nature and proficiency check needs to be adhered to by all airlines and any violation should be strongly penalised. A violation can endanger the lives of passengers. The airline managements also need to take strong disciplinary action against the erring pilots and not bow down to the pilots’ union.”

In 2016, until October, 51 cases of violation of “breath analyzer testing” was reported from several airlines. This year, Air India topped the list with the highest number of violations, followed by SpiceJet, which reported 63 violations of the FDTL norms. A total of 103 violations of FDTL by different airlines have been reported in 2016 alone.
18/12/16 Dibyendu Mondal/Sunday Guardian
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