Saturday, September 09, 2017

Pilots' body warns of stir against move to ground 132 Air India pilots, 430 crew members

New Delhi: With the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) threatening to ground 132 pilots and 430 cabin crew members+ of Air India for skipping alcohol test, the Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA), union of the erstwhile Indian Airlines' pilots, has threatened to launch a protest against a senior official of the DGCA if the regulator acts against any pilot.
The ICPA says Air India or its crew members are not at fault as the violation happened due to lack of clarity on rules.
"We have come to know DGCA is on the verge of suspending licences of 132 pilots and 400 cabin crew for no fault of theirs. This is a clear case of vindication (sic) by (DGCA official). Inspite of our CMD writing to DGCA, taking the onus for not providing medical facility at transit stations and the airline management's interpretation to carry out post flight medical after completion flight, DGCA is trying to suspend the licences of the pilots in a phased manner," an ICPA letter issued by its general secretary Captain T Praveen Keerthi.
"(The DGCA official) handpicked only two flights on narrow body and left out wide body flights. He has taken data from only past few months and not from the time of implementation of DGCA civil aviation requirement (CAR). There is no provision in CAR to suspend license in a phased manner. The above actions by (the DGCA official) are a clear indication of victimisation towards a section of pilots of specific fleet.... if any one of our innocent member pilot becomes a victim of DGCA for no fault of the pilot, we will resort to a full fledged protest against (the DGCA official)," Captain Keerthi's letter says.
08/09/17 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India