Thursday, September 19, 2019

A record number of pilots suspended this year. Who is to be blamed?

The past few months have seen a spate of pilot suspensions. On September 18 alone, five pilots were suspended - two from Pawan Hans and three from IndiGo - by the industry regulator DGCA.

In September till now, at least seven have already been suspended.

A report by The Print, quoting DGCA officials, said that 41 pilots have been suspended till August this year, for their actions that led to 'serious  accidents.' That is a huge jump from just 11 suspensions, over the same period last year.

And if one takes in number of pilots suspended for all the reasons, including failing the breathalyser test, the total number of suspensions climb to over 70, in these eight months.
"This is alarmingly high. Last when so many suspensions happened was in 2016," said Amit Singh, an industry veteran and Fellow of London's Royal Aeronautical Society.

Both the sets of numbers are alarming. Recently, two Air India pilots were suspended for failing the alcohol test. In fact, they refused to take the test.

At the same time, industry observers question if only pilots can be blamed for the 'serious incidents.'
19/09/19 Prince Mathews Thomas/Moneycontrol.com
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