In the first half of this year, 33 pilots and 97 cabin-crew members failed their compulsory alcohol tests, which are conducted either before or after flights, according to data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
In contrast, in the first half of 2022, the DGCA data recorded only 14 pilots and 54 cabin-crew members being identified as intoxicated while on duty. This data has been reviewed by Business Standard.
As per the DGCA rules, pilots and cabin-crew members have to undergo pre-flight breath-analyzer tests. For pilots and cabin crew members operating flights from abroad to India, they have to undergo post-flight breath-analyzer tests. These tests are conducted by airlines’ doctors. If the results are positive, they have to be submitted to the DGCA within 24 hours.
Should a pilot or cabin-crew member fail the breath-analyzer test for the first time, their license will be suspended for a duration of 3 months, as per the rules. In the event that the same pilot or cabin-crew member is discovered intoxicated while on duty a second time, their license will be suspended for 3 years. According to the rules, if this pilot or cabin-crew member fails the alcohol test for the third time, their license will be permanently revoked.
Consumption of alcohol results in significant deterioration of psychomotor performance and decreases the amount of mental capacity available to deal with many essential tasks involved in the conduct of safe flight, according to the DGCA rules. “Should an emergency occur in-flight, the crew member under the influence of alcohol is not capable of dealing with the problem,” the rules added.
First Published: Sep 17 2023 | 4:22 PM IST