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Air India Pilots Association Protests Against A Kathpalia's Promotion

In a strongly-worded letter to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, ICPA said if Kathpalia is exonerated of the suspension ordered by DGCA, then "all pilots in India who had been suspended for similar offence should also be exonerated".

PTI

Updated:March 31, 2017, 8:18 PM IST
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Air India Pilots Association Protests Against A Kathpalia's Promotion
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New Delhi: Air India pilots' association ICPA on Friday protested against the promotion of Captain A Kathpalia as the airline's director of operations saying he does not qualify for the post as his licence remains suspended.

Last month, aviation regulator DGCA suspended his flying licence for three months after he had skipped compulsory pre-flight medical test on several occasions.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet yesterday approved appointment of Kathpalia as Director (Operations) of Air India for five years.

Protesting against the move, the Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA) alleged that Kathpalia had wilfully evaded the breath analyser test and fudged pre-flight register by signing it without undergoing breath analyser test.

ICPA has more than 1,200 pilots as members.

In a strongly-worded letter to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, ICPA said if Kathpalia is exonerated of the suspension ordered by DGCA, then "all pilots in India who had been suspended for similar offence should also be exonerated".

Further, the association said the pilots who had undergone the suspension till date should be compensated monetarily for the financial loss incurred during that period "as no active interest can be taken for one individual alone".

"We humbly request you not to support and exonerate 'Corrupt Officials' just to ensure he fits the requirement for the selection of the post of Director (Operations), Air India Ltd," the letter said.

Citing the advertisement issued by the government in February for the post of Director at Air India, ICPA said Kathpalia does not qualify for the post as his licence has been suspended by the regulator.

"DGCA has failed to take action on the criminal acts of forgery and fraud committed by Capt Kathpalia which is evident through the CCTV footage and a legal notice has been served to DGCA on March 10, 2017 to this effect.

"We would also like to inform you that a writ is being prepared," the letter said.

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