Pilots, crew face pre-flight breath analyser test

Pilots, crew face pre-flight breath analyser test

According to a new draft which is an extension of Civil Aviation Requirement of 2009 issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), all crew of such flights originating in India as well as foreign destinations should be subjected to preflight medical check-up (PFMC) for consumption of alcohol.

Presently, only 60 per cent of the crew, both cabin as well as cockpit, undergo random checks by scheduled operators. The drive is intensified only during festive and new year season.

"For scheduled operator this percentage shall be on daily basis and for other operators like non-scheduled ones, air taxi operators, state government aircraft operators and private category operators, the percentage is be worked out on a 15-calender day basis," says the draft CAR released by DGCA chief Nasim Zaidi.

The cabin crew will be subjected to the test twice during a flight. If any member tests positive, he or she will not be allowed to operate the flight. Even if any of the crew refuses to undergo the PFMC, he or she will be considered alco-positive, says the CAR.
The DGCA has also proposed tough action on those who fail to clear the breath-analyser test.

For first time offenders or if any of the crew refuses to undergo PFMC or breath-analyser test, then "he or she will be kept off-duty and his license will be suspended for a period of three months."

And the licence of the crew will be "permanently cancelled" if they are tested positive during the PFMC for a second time.

"Any member attempting to evade the test procedure by leaving airport premises before undergoing the complete test procedure will be considered to have tested positive," the new proposal says.

In case of an instructor or examiner or check crew, if tested positive during the PFMC then they will loose their rating for at least three years.

The DGCA has also proposed a post flight medical check on the crew, which should be done during their duty hours after disembarkation of passengers, and if found guilty their licence will be surrendered forthwith.

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