Air India has removed its operations department head from flying duties as a part of aviation regulator DGCA's orders. The captain had skipped the compulsory pre-flight medical test due to which action was taken against him.
"The orders to remove Air India Executive Director (Operations) Capt A K Kathpalia from flying duties were issued by the DGCA flight safety department on Wednesday", they said.
"In compliance with the DGCA orders, Capt Kathpalia will not be assigned any flight to operate anymore," airline sources said.
"The airline had set up a five-member committee to investigate the allegations, besides reporting the matter to the aviation regulator", Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said.
The probe was required after the airline's pilots union ICPA made it to the notice of the management.
"The complaint was given from the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) that a senior executive pilot had escaped pre-flight medical test in the last 25 days at Delhi airport", the sources said.
Rule 24 of Aircraft Rules prevents crew members from having any alcoholic drink 12 hours before the commencement of a flight and it is compulsory for him or her to go through an alcohol test both before and after operating a flight.
If any crew member tests positive in the pre-flight medical check or declined to take a breath analyser test is asked to be taken off flying duty for at least four weeks and the airline is expected to start disciplinary proceedings.
"It has been brought to our notice that one of the executive directors, who is a pilot, has been evading pre-flight medical test, endangering the safety of the passengers and crew members. We hereby request you to kindly investigate into this gross violation of DGCA Civil Aviation Requirement by procuring the pre-flight medical record and all CCTV footage in dispatch and pre-flight medical room at Delhi," the ICPA had said in its complaint while seeking "strict" action against the erring pilot.
BY M. DIVYA SRI