New Delhi, May 31: Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has set up a high-level internal committee to revisit the duty and rest period norms for cabin crew and formulate fresh and comprehensive rules.
The move comes after DGCA received a number of complaints about airlines allegedly violating the Flight Duty Time Limitation (FDTL) norms for cabin crew.
"Of late, DGCA has received a number complaints from cabin crew across airlines alleging that the management had been flouting their FDTL rules by forcing them to operate flights, even during the mandated rest period.
The regulator has taken a serious note of these allegations and decided to re-look and revise these norms," they said.
The FDTL for the cabin crew is different than those for the pilots as the former are required to work longer hours.
Recently, national carrier Air India had terminated the services of a male cabin crew member and 17 air hostesses accusing them of delaying several international flights. [17 Air India cabin crew suspended, row over rest period]
The cabin crew members, against whom Air India has taken action, have contested the allegation saying "they were only adhering to FDTL norms as mandated under the civil aviation requirement."
"The committee has already got onto the business and recently held a few meetings with some of the stakeholders including cabin crew from both Air India and private airlines," sources said.
The sources said that unlike in the past when these FDTL were formulated without delving "much" into the issue, the regulator this time is adopting a more scientific approach before finalising the new norms. [Air India sacks 10 air hostesses for reporting late for work]
"The existing norms give a lot of scope for misinterpretation both by the airline management as well as the cabin crew. So, the DGCA this time round is going deeper into the various International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recommendations to plug such loopholes.
"Besides, it is collecting reports from various global airlines to incorporate the best industry practices before giving a final shape to the new guidelines," the sources said.