Days after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation decided to suspend 132 pilots and 400 cabin crew members of Air India (AI) for skipping the mandatory Breath Analyser (BA) test, the Pilots body has written a letter to the aviation watch dog questioning its motive.
“Every single of these 132 pilots had undergone breath analyzer test at the final port of termination and has followed management’s instructions 100 per cent. At no point did any of these pilots refuse or attempt to evade the examination,” said ICPA general secretary Capt T Praveen Keerthi in his letter to Bhullar.
ICPA also questioned the DGCA’s arbitrary move to selectively pull out data only on two specific flights – Kuwait-Goa-Chennai and Dubai-Goa-Bangalore over last three months, despite the guidlines being more than two years old.
On September 5, the DGCA alleged that over 130 pilots and 430 cabin crew members of Air India for purportedly skip the mandatory alcohol test to be taken pre and post flights.
As per aviation safety rules, on board crew members must undergo BA test before and after flying. If any of the crew member tests positive for alcohol or skips the test, s/he is grounded.
The pilot’s body had threatened to launch a protest against a senior official of the DGCA if the regulator acts against any pilot.
The ICPA also sought explanation for suspending licenses in a phased manner as against the de-rostering any on board crew member with immediate effect as per the rules.
It also questioned the DGCA’s motive in initiating air safety audit, including the BA test, since the last three months despite the introduction of Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) in August 2015.