Saturday, June 28, 2008

Pilots in India often fail alcohol tests

Around 50 pilots each year in India are being grounded because they had consumed alcohol before taking a flight, the country's civil aviation authorities.

The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), a body controlling airline operations in India, said dozens of pilots are found to have consumed alcohol during routine pre-medical tests every year.

India is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world with dozens of new airlines competing with each other everyday, often resulting in pilots forced to fly at short notices.

The country has about 4,500-5,000 commercial pilots, and another 2,500 are undergoing training. Civil aviation rules specify that pilots and cabin crew cannot consume alcohol 12 hours before taking a flight. A pilot can be grounded for three months and he can lose his license if he repeats the mistake again. Some times flights have to be canceled because of drunken pilots.


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Anonymous said...

Dear Rahul,

I do not think you know what is failing a breath analyser test. The DGCA in India needs a ZERO BA count, whereas abroad, e.g. in USA, up to 0.04 is allowed. Getting a Positive BA count does NOT mean the pilot is DRUNK. A single beer can give a positive count after four hours - does that mean the person is drunk? In India everyone who does not understand the way breath analysers work call a positive reading as being DRUNK. Please know your onions if you want to run a Aviation blog.


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