New DGCA rules want aircrew, pilots to test for alcohol at transit

New DGCA rules want aircrew, pilots to test for alcohol at transit
Pilots and aircrew must undergo breath analyser test on transit airports if they enter the terminal during flight to ensure they are not drunk, aviation regulator DGCA has said.

It issued a draft Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) that said the blood alcohol level in pilots and aircrew “compatible with safe flying” should be zero, which is also recommended by ICAO.

“It is equally important to intensify the educational programme for crew members regarding the inherent dangers of flying after consumption of alcohol,” the draft CAR said.

The new regulations propose to alter existing “procedure for medical examination of aircraft personnel for alcohol consumption.”

“During a flight duty period, if a crew member enters the terminal building at any transit airport, (he/she) shall undergo the pre-flight breath analyser examination before undertaking the flight,” the draft said.

Right now, the tests are conducted on the crew before and after they operate the flight. Should they sidestep the process, the chief of operations of the airlines should ensure the concerned crew member is “off roastered” at the first point of landing.

The DGCA wants to suspend the pilot’s licence for four years if the pilot repeatedly dodges the breath analyser test. Existing rules asks for a crew member to be suspended for three months should they test positive for alcohol in pre-flight breath analyser test, while the same punishment applies for the crew member who refuses to take the test or attempts to evade it.

The new draft rules propose to link failure to clear the pre-flight and post-flight tests. The crew member faces suspension for three years if they fail the test of evade it.
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