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.

CRJ 700 in India

The first CRJ 700 Aircraft entered in to service in India with Air India Regional. The 70- seater is flying six days a week between Delhi-Raipur & Delhi-Vishakhapattanam. Load factor is repoetrd to be nearly 80 percent. With Increasing jet fuel prices & drastic decrease in Air travel, lets wait & watch for how long it will able to have a high load factor?

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