Has Air India stopped breath analyser checks for pilots?

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Air India
New Delhi, Feb 7: Cash strapped Air India has almost stopped alcohol breath analyser checks, according to an RTI query.

A Right to Information Act shows that Air India has not been following the DGCA's rule, which is being looked upon as a serious safety violation.

Across India, at major airports, the airlines staff doctors carry out the check at major airports, while in other airports, the airlines hire private doctors to do the same. However, the airlines did not send any hired doctors abroad and it has not been sending their doctors to foreign airports to conduct medical check up, as reported by The Business Standard.

The data reveals that a pre-flight medical check up was conducted at several airports abroad in 2008-2010. It also revealed that the airlines amended the rules and Air India did the checks just twice. Airline sources reveal that the cost of hiring private doctors in the Canada and US is too high.

"Some doctors quoted a $250-500 charge per flight," said a source said.

"The DGCA is lenient to the airlines. It is not strict in enforcing rules. In the UK, a pilot is arrested if alcohol beyond a certain limit is found in the blood," said Aviation safety expert Mohan Ranganathan.

"I am aware of the problem. I have told Air India it will have do medical checks as prescribed in the rules," said DGCA Bharat Bhushan.

"None of the airlines are carrying out pre-flight medical checks abroad every 15 days. This is not possible because of the cost involved," said a senior AI commander.

OneIndia News

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