Air India woman pilot, cabin crew member fail alcohol test, grounded for three months

New Delhi: A woman pilot and another crew member of state-owned Air India were grounded for three months after they failed a pre-flight alcohol test.

The crew members, who have been taken off from flying for failing to clear the pre-flight medical test were to operate Air India’s Rajkot flight from New Delhi on January 25, sources said.

As part of the DGCA safety regulations, all pilots and cabin crew must undergo breath analyzer test before and after flights.

Incidentally, airline’s head of operations, himself a senior executive pilot, is under probe by a committee for allegedly skipping the mandatory test close to a month.

“The woman pilot and cabin crew along with other operating crew were rostered for Air India flight AI-9631 on January 25 for Rajkot from New Delhi. After they reported for duty, as per norms, they were told to undertake breath analyzer test. However, the findings were positive,” a source said.

The matter was reported to the DGCA and the two crew members were taken off for flying for three months, the source said.

Air India spokesperson was not available for comments.

Aircraft rules prohibit crew members from taking any alcoholic drink 12 hours prior to the commencement of a flight, and it is mandatory for the employee to undergo an alcohol test both before and after operating a flight.

Any crew member who tests positive in the pre-flight medical check or refuses to take a breath-analyzer test is required to be taken off flying duty for at least four weeks and the airline is required to initiate disciplinary proceedings.

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