December 6, 2021

DGCA cracks whip: Air India pilot loses licence for 3 years over failed alcohol test.

New Delhi: A day after a senior officer of national flag carrier Air India was grounded after he failed an alcohol test, the aviation regulator has acted tough in the matter and suspended the licence.  The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) today said that it is suspending the flying licence of Air India Director of Operations Arvind Kathpalia for three years under the provisions of applicable regulations.

Kathpalia had on Sunday failed the mandatory pre-flight alcohol test and was grounded by the airline. A DGCA official today said Kathpalia has tested ‘BA positive’ on November 11 and the privileges of his licence have been suspended for a period of three years.

“The privileges of his licence have been suspended for a period of three years from 11.11.2018 as per the provisions of applicable regulations,” a DGCA spokesperson said in a statement.

As per a report in PTI, Rule 24 of the Aircraft Rules says crew members are not allowed to partake any alcoholic drink 12 hours prior to the start of a flight. Further, they are required to undergo an alcohol test both before and after operating a flight.

As per the DGCA rules, a pilot violating the rule for the first time can see his flying licence suspended for three months. In the second instance of such a breach, the licence is suspended for three years. And if the violator breaches this rule for the third time, he loses his licence permanently.

In 2017, the DGCA had suspended Kathpalia’s flying licence for three months when he had allegedly skipping the breath analyser test before a flight. He was then removed as Air India’s executive director, operations.

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