Friday, May 07, 2021

Strictly abide by DGCA order on breath analyser tests of pilots, cabin crew: HC to airlines

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has directed all airlines in India to "strictly abide" by the percentage of breath analyser (BA) testing mentioned in the April 27 order of aviation regulator DGCA and that no carrier should go beyond it for the safety of their pilots and cabin crew in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The high court issued the direction after it was informed by the DGCA that some airlines were testing more pilots and cabin crew than the 10 per cent limit set by the regulator.

Justice Prathiba M Singh also said that the court will not substitute its view with that of the medical committee, created by DGMS (Air) to examine whether BA tests could be substituted by blood tests to detect alcohol levels, which has said that blood alcohol testing was not feasible.

The committee also said it was satisfied by the UV sanitation method used by DGCA for the BA test machines.

While declining to interfere with the committee's findings, the court, however, called for an additional report from it on whether the BA test can be conducted in an open area so that spread of COVID-19 through the suspended particles or aerosols in a confined room can be avoided.

This query was posed by the court as the ATC Guild had expressed an apprehension that since the BA test is conducted in an enclosed space and the air blown into the equipment is released out from the other end of the machine, the droplets or aerosols of COVID may remain suspended in the air and could infect others who enter that room.

06/05/21 PTI/New Indian Express

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