New Delhi, Jun 6 (PTI) Delhi accounted for half the cases of drunkenness among pilots detected last year, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Out of the 42 cases of pilots reporting drunk for duty, as many as 21 cases were detected at Delhi airport.
Another 11 were found under the influence of alcohol at Mumbai airport. In response to an RTI enquiry by Abhishek Shukla, the DGCA has now revealed some details of the disciplinary action taken against the “tipsy” pilots.
Eight of the pilots who tested positive for alcohol on duty were sacked and and the remainder were suspended or taken off flying duty for periods ranging from 30 days to three months. The DGCA did not disclose the names of the pilots, the airlines for which they were working, or the details of the flights they were preparing to operate.
As many as 28 of the 42 pilots are still flying, presumably after serving out their suspension period. The DGCA is the regulatory body for civil aviation in India and is responsible for ensuring safety of operations.
Aviation authorities around the world, including the International Civil Aviation Organisation, mandate a zero tolerance to alcohol as far as pilots and cabin crew are concerned. Drunkenness among pilots directly impacts flight safety.
Pre-flight alcohol testing is mandatory for pilots and cabin crew and the DGCA conducts surprise checks on pilots, both pre-flight and post-flight, to ensure that the no-alcohol rule is not violated.