Tuesday, January 07, 2020

DGCA may issue notices to GoAir’s 100 pilots and management for flight duty time violations

New Delhi: In its biggest ever move to discourage airlines from over-working their pilots and making fatigued cockpit crew fly planes — thereby compromising air safety — the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is likely to issue “mass notices” to GoAir over alleged violations on this count. The regulator, say highly placed sources, is in the process of issuing show cause notices to over 100 pilots and management of this low cost carrier (LCC).

After probing the airline’s rostering software, the DGCA has found two main types of violations — making pilots fly for more than the allowed 1,000 hours in a year and not following the mandatory no more than two consecutive night flights in a row.

While a GoAir spokesman said the airline is yet to receive any showcause notice from the DGCA over flight and duty time limitations (FDTL) issue, he added the LCC follows all norms. "As part of the oversight process, DGCA conducts audits for all operators. GoAir has also been subject to such routine audits and will always abide by civil aviation regulations as stipulated by the DGCA, including FDTL," he said.

A senior DGCA official said, "GoAir is on our radar for FDTL norm adherence. We are issuing mass individual notices to 100-odd pilots and also to the management. The idea is to ensure safe flying by preventing fatigued pilots from being assigned flights. Since we are issuing notices to pilots individually, they will themselves caution the airline when being assigned more night duties in a row than allowed or when being asked to fly for more than the allowed 1,000 hours in a year," said an official.

The regulator also feels that other airlines will also take a cue from the action against GoAir and its pilots and strictly adhere to FDTL norms. "Our concept is very simple, "We do not want over-worked or fatigued pilots being assigned flights as that could inadvertently lead to errors and compromised safety," said the official.
06/01/20 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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