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Air India director operations tested positive alcohol twice, declared 'not fit to fly'

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Salka Pai | Updated on: 11 Nov 2018, 06:20:04 PM
Air India director ops test positive alcohol twice before flying (Representational Image)

New Delhi:

The director of Air India was on Sunday found positive in Breath Analyser (BA) prior to flying and declared "not fit to fly".

According to an official, senior pilot Captain Arvind K Kathpalia was to fly the Air India’s AI-111 flight to London from New Delhi on Sunday afternoon.

“We have grounded Captain A K Kathpalia as he failed twice in the breath analyser test. He was to operate the London flight from New Delhi, but he failed to clear the pre-flight alcohol test,” the official said.

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“He was given another chance, but the second test was also found the positive following which he was grounded,” the official added.

The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), a representative body for the pilots of Indian Airlines Limited (AirIndia Ltd.), has also writes to the Ministry of Civil Aviation to take action against Kathpalia.

According to ICPA, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had suspended Kathpalia’s license for three months in 2017 for allegedly skipping the breath analyser test before a flight. He was subsequently removed from the post of executive director of operations.

However, Kathpalia was later appointed to the post of director (operations) in Air India Ltd for a period of five years.

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As per rule, it is mandatory to all pilots and cabin crews to examine pre-flight medical check-up prior to fly.

“Rule 24 of the Aircraft Rules (1937) prohibits crew members from partaking any alcoholic drink, 12 hours prior to the commencement of a flight, and it is mandatory for him or her to undergo an alcohol test both before and after operating a flight,” the official said.

According to reports, over 150 pilots belonging to different airlines in India were caught drunk on duty in the past four years, putting the lives of thousands of air passengers at risk.

(With inputs from agencies)

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First Published : 11 Nov 2018, 05:36:32 PM