Thursday, August 12, 2021

Tweaking rules on alcohol consumption, DGCA asks all aircrew to give declarations before flight

Chandigarh: The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has tweaked its rules on medical examination of air crew for alcohol consumption after it emerged that conducting large number of breath analyser tests in confined spaces at airports or using alternate methods like blood test was inappropriate during the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.

Following directives of the Delhi High Court in May 2021, all crew members will be required to give a written undertaking that they have not consumed alcohol in past 12 hours before commencement of a flight or their ground duty, failing which they would be liable for penal action.

“It is again emphasised that all staff of the airlines, including air traffic controllers, cabin crew and the pilots, would be bound to give undertakings and declarations  in  respect  of  having  not  consumed  alcohol  in  terms  of  the applicable  regulations,  failing  which,  they  could  be  re-rostered  and  strict action would be liable to be taken against them,” the Delhi High Court had said it its order.

“In view of the above order, all crew members shall be bound by such declarations and undertakings. In the event of failure to submit the same, then in the first instance, the crewmember shall be off-rostered from flying duties for a period of one month. In case of subsequent or repeat violations, such crew member’s license or authorisation shall be suspended for a period of three months each time,” draft amendments to rules issued by DGCA this week state. Comments on amendments have been sought from stakeholders by August 25.

The Indian Commercial Pilots Association and Air Traffic Controllers Guild had moved the High Court citing safety concerns over the number and manner of conducting of breath analyser tests during the pandemic times.

11/08/21 Vijay Mohan/Tribune

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