Ensure pre-flight alcohol test of 50% crew members, DGCA tells airlines

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Airlines must ensure that 50 per cent of cockpit and cabin crew members are subjected to pre-flight alcohol test daily, aviation regulator DGCA said on Tuesday.

Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, all crew members were required to undergo pre-flight alcohol tests. When the pandemic began, these tests were suspended for a couple of months. Later, the tests were resumed but for only a small percentage of crew members.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday issued a notice mentioning that 50 per cent crew members will undergo these tests “in view of reducing trend of COVID-19 cases and increase in volume of air traffic as a result of resumption of normal operation”.

“In case of flying training institutes, 50 per cent of instructors and 40 per cent of student pilots shall be subjected to pre-flight breath-analyser on daily basis,” the notice issued by the DGCA said.

Operators or owners of charter planes must ensure that 50 per cent of their crew members undergo these tests, it said.

Every aviation employee who is reporting for duty is required to submit an undertaking that he or she is not under the influence of alcohol and that he or she has not consumed alcohol in the last 12 hours from the time of reporting for the duty, the DGCA said.

“The cockpit crew, cabin crew shall submit the undertaking in the presence of medical staff and the same shall be captured on camera,” it mentioned.

The DGCA said the notice issued on Tuesday will remain in force for a three-month period only.

India resumed full scheduled international flights on March 27 this year. The country resumed full scheduled domestic flights on October 18, 2021. 

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