The Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA) in a letter to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has defended its pilots and cabin crew. This letter comes after the latter revealed it may suspend the licenses of 132 pilots and 400 cabin crew, according to news agency ANI. In the letter, ICPA has defended its pilots by saying, “Every single pilot of these 132 had undergone breath analyzer test at final port of termination and followed management’s instructions 100%.” It further said, “At no point did any of these pilots refuse or attempt to evade the post flight breath analyzer examination.” While talking about the suspension of the license of these pilots, IPCA further said, “There is no provision in Civil Aviation Regulations(CAR) to suspend licenses in a phased manner.”
Earlier on September 11, a union of Air India pilots had asked the DGCA the reason behind why crew of Indian carriers operating a flight from a foreign station not required to undergo alcohol test after landing in India. As per rules framed by the civil aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), pilots and cabin crew of flights originating from India have to undergo pre-flight breath-analyser test while those of flights originating from destinations outside India will be subjected to an examination on reaching India, according to PTI.
In a letter to B S Bhullar, the Director General of DGCA, the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA) said that safety of passengers was being endangered by not requiring an alcohol test of the flight and cabin crew before take-off. The pilots’ body wrote this while registering their protest after the DGCA warned that it could suspend 132 pilots and 434 crew members of Air India for skipping the mandatory pre- and post-flight breath analyzer test for alcohol.
The letter said, “We would also like to know why no doctors are present at international stations to perform breath analyser test for any Indian carriers? Are senior officials working in connivance with private carriers to save their cost?” It further added, “We strongly believe PFM (pre-flight medical) should be done before a flight and not at first or second port of landing in India after a flight endangering the safety of innocent flying passengers.”