Over 100 pilots tested positive for alcohol

Over 100 pilots tested positive for alcohol
Over 100 pilots were tested positive for alcohol during pre-flight examination since 2013 with last year recording the highest such incidents.

Of the 112 pilots, Jet Airways recorded the highest number of 33 followed by IndiGo with 25. National carrier Air India’s 19 pilots also tested positive between 2013 and April this year.

This data was disclosed in a written reply in the Lok Sabha by Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma on Thursday. While 30 pilots were caught in 2013, 26 such incidents were reported in 2014 followed by 43 in 2015. This year till April, there were 13 cases.

According to Aircraft Rules 1937,  no person acting as pilot, commander, navigator, engineer, cabin crew or other operating member of the crew should have taken or used any alcoholic drink, sedative, narcotic or stimulant drug or preparation within 12 hours of commencement of the flight or take or use any such preparation in the course of the flight.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation had warned pilots and crew members that even mouthwash or a tooth gel, which has alcohol content, could land them in trouble. “No crew member shall consume any drug/formulation or use any substance mouthwash/ tooth gel which has alcoholic content,” the CAR said.

The regulator is of the view that alcohol present in the body “even in small quantities” jeopardises flight safety on several counts and is likely to adversely affect an aviator well into the hangover period.

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