DGCA issues strict alcohol consumption norms for flight crew

New Delhi, Aug 9: Putting in place stringent measures to ensure flight safety, aviation regulator DGCA has come out with detailed guidelines related to alcohol consumption for airlines crew for both pre and post-flight periods.

The measures include maintaining separate records of pre-flight and post-flight breath analyser examination for the flight crew as well as keeping them off the roaster for three months in case of violations.


In its latest circular titled 'Procedure for medical examination of aircraft personnel for alcohol consumption', the DGCA has said that the operator should maintain all breath analyser examination records for a period of one year.

"The operator shall maintain separate records of pre-flight and post-flight breath analyser examination for the flight crew, cabin crew and maintenance personnel. All the relevant records must be preserved for a period of one year," the circular, dated August 4, said.

With regard to pre-flight breath analyser examination, if a crew member is tested positive for alcohol consumption and refuses to undergo the test for a second time that individual would be kept off "flying duty" for three months.

Besides, the individual's licence/approval would stand suspended for that that period. According to DGCA, if it is a case of repeat violation, the crew member would be suspended for three years.

In case, a crew member tests positive for alcohol consumption post-flight, then that person would have to immediately surrender the license.

"An Instructor/Examiner/Check Pilot/Check Cabin Crew detected positive for alcohol consumption during post-flight breath-analyser examination, will lose such ratings/ authorisation for a period of three years," the circular noted.

Information about action taken on positive tests and post-flight medical examination of crew members have to be submitted every month by the flight operator to the Director of Air Safety (HQ).

"Whenever a designated VIP is to be carried on board for the purpose of flying, the operator shall ensure pre-flight breath-analyser examination of the crew members assigned to operate such flight," the circular said.

In the event of a plane accident at an airport or near vicinity, the watchdog has said the officer in charge of that particular airport should ensure that crew members are immediately subjected to medical check-up for consumption of alcohol. The level of blood alcohol compatible with safe flying is 'zero'.


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