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13 Employees of Airlines, Airports Have Failed Alcohol Test Since September 16, Says DGCA official

Seven employees of IndiGo, and one airside worker each of GoAir and SpiceJet have failed the alcohol tests since the rules were issued.


Updated:October 28, 2019, 2:59 PM IST
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13 Employees of Airlines, Airports Have Failed Alcohol Test Since September 16, Says DGCA official
Representative image: Reuters

New Delhi: Thirteen employees of airlines and airports have failed breath analyser tests since September 16 and they have been suspended for three months, a DGCA official said on Monday.

Seven employees of IndiGo, and one airside worker each of GoAir and SpiceJet have failed the alcohol tests since the rules were issued, the official said.

"13 employees of various types have been found positive during the breath analyser tests in the voluntary phase... The mandatory phase begins in November and shall entail our 'surveillance and watch' on a regular basis," the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official said.

"Importantly, most of these, are involved in safety sensitive functions at an airport and can be a potential source of serious incident or accident," the official said.

Two Bengaluru International Airport Limited employees -- one a senior assistant and the other a manager at the airline operations control centre --have failed the test, according to the official.

An employee of the Delhi International Airport Limited, who is an aerobridge operator, failed the alcohol test on October 21.

The DGCA official said in Mumbai, a senior airport electrician, who was working for a sub-contractor, AMA Private Limited, failed the test on October 18.

The aviation regulator on September 16 had issued rules for the tests to be conducted at all airports for airside workers, including those handling aircraft maintenance, air traffic control (ATC) and ground handling services.

The rules say, if any personnel is tested positive for alcohol for the first time, refuses to undergo the test or attempts to evade it by leaving the airport premises, "then he or she must be kept off duty and their license/approval shall be suspended for a period of three months".

"Employers have taken punitive action as proposed in the Civil Aviation Requirement (Rules) and we acknowledge their cooperation and support", the official said.

The official said of the seven IndiGo airside workers, who failed the tests, two are customer service officers, four are drivers and one is a cleaner.

The suspended SpiceJet and GoAir employees are a driver and a senior ramp officer respectively, the DGCA official added.

The rules state:"In case of second violation of the provisions, the license/approval issued by DGCA of the concerned personnel shall be suspended for a period of one year".

The new rules cover more than 25,000 aviation personnel who are handling sensitive aviation services.

The aviation personnel under the ambit of these rules include aircraft maintenance engineers, other technically trained person authorised to carry out maintenance of aircraft, vehicle drivers who drive fuelling and catering vehicles, equipment operators, aerobridge operators, marshallers, personnel manning apron control, ground handling services personnel as well as ATC personnel, according to the DGCA.

The aviation regulator said on September 16 that as per the rules, at least 10 per cent of the personnel "employed in their respective organisations (category wise)" must be randomly subjected to breath analyzer examination on a daily basis.

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