Three year suspension for Air India pilot who failed breath analyser test

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Air India has suspended its chief of operations, AK Kathpalia, after he failed to clear a mandatory breath analyser on Sunday test before the flight.

“In the case of Air India pilot Capt. Arvind Kathpalia being detected BA (Breath Analyser Test) positive yesterday, the privileges of his licence have been suspended for a period of three years,” Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said according to ANI.

In fact on Sunday, pilots on two Air India flights had trouble with the breath analyser test. Besides Kathpalia another AI flight to Bangkok was delayed by over six hours after the pilot forgot to undergo the mandatory breath analyser test.

The Bangkok-bound AI flight from New Delhi with over 200 passengers on board returned to the Indira Gandhi International Airport and was delayed by over six hours Sunday after one of its pilots ‘forgot’ to undertake the mandatory breath analyser test.

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Meanwhile, Kathpalia was to operate the airline’s London-New Delhi flight on Sunday afternoon had to be replaced causing a 55 minutes delay.

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.

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The punishment for violating the rule 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.

Kathpalia’s flying licence was suspended in 2017 for three months for allegedly skipping the breath analyser test before a flight. He was subsequently removed from the post of executive director, operations. However, he was later appointed to the post of director (operations) in Air India for a period of five years.

(With ANI inputs)

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