224 pilots failed pre-flight breath test in 2016

New Delhi: The menace of tipsy pilots seems to be on the rise in India.

As many as 224 pilots tested positive in their pre-flight breath analyzer (BA) checks – up 11% from 2015 figure of 202, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

All pilots operating domestic flights have to undergo pre-flight alcohol tests to ensure only sober ones get inside cockpits and then safely fly. On international flights, pilots have to undergo post-flight checks as liquor is available on board those flights.

A pilot is grounded for three months, three years and forever after failing pre-flight BA test for the first, second and third time, respectively. Those failing the breath analyzer tests in post-flight checks get a year added to these groundings.

In 2016, the DGCA for the first time directed registering first information reports against two pilots and three cabin crew members of commercial airlines who were found tipsy after operating international routes in post-flight BA tests.

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