DGCA Suspends Flying Licence of Air India Operations Chief for 3 Years Over Failed Alcohol Test
Air India had grounded Kathpalia on Sunday after he allegedly failed to clear pre-flight alcohol test, while another AI flight was delayed by over six hours after a pilot "forgot" to undergo the mandatory breath analyser test.
New Delhi: Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DCGA) on Monday suspended flying licence of Air India's Director for Operations Arvind Kathpalia for three years after he failed alcohol test.
On Sunday, the airlines had grounded Kathpalia after he failed to clear pre-flight alcohol test. A senior officer said, "Being detected 'BA positive', the privileges of his licence have been suspended for a period of three years as per the provisions of applicable regulations." The suspension is effective from November 11, he added.
Rule 24 of the Aircraft Rules prohibits crew members from partaking any alcoholic drink 12 hours prior to the commencement of a flight, and it is mandatory for him/her to undergo an alcohol test both before and after operating a flight.
The prescribed punishment for such offences under the DGCA rules is suspension of flying licence for three months in case of first breach. For violating the norms for a second time, the licence is suspended for three years and for a third time, the licence is permanently cancelled.
Earlier, chief of operations Kathpalia's flying licence was suspended in 2017 for three months by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for allegedly skipping the breath analyser test before a flight. He was subsequently removed from the post of executive director, operations.
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