Airlines must ensure that 50% of cockpit and cabin crew members are subjected to pre-flight alcohol tests daily, aviation regulator DGCA said on Tuesday, March 29.
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, March 29 issued a notice mentioning that 50% of crew members will undergo these tests “because of reducing trend of COVID-19 cases and increase in the volume of air traffic as a result of the resumption of normal operation”.
“In case of flying training institutes, 50% of instructors and 40% 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% of their crew members undergo these tests. 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 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 will remain in force for three months only.
India resumed full scheduled international flights on March 27 this year. The country resumed full scheduled domestic flights on October 18, 2021.
DGCA said that aviation personnel covered under CAR Section-5, Series-F, Part-Ill, who are reporting for duty, are required to submit an undertaking that they are not under the influence of alcohol and that they have not consumed alcohol in the last 12 hours from the time of reporting for the duty.
The undertaking must also contain a warning that in case of violation of the undertaking, strict enforcement action including off rostering and suspension by applicable rules will be taken by DGCA against the individual, the regulator said.