New Delhi: A senior Air India pilot, who was
caught drunk just before he was to operate a flight out of Chennai last month, has been deprived of his Training Captain status and removed from all administrative duties for three
years, official sources said Thursday.
The move came after Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh took a strong view of reports about drunken pilots and sought details from the national carrier on Joseph, who was earlier
suspended for three months following the incident.
Joseph, the airline`s Deputy General Manager (Operations)
in Chennai, had tested positive on alcohol in a pre-flight
medical check on February 3. He was about to operate flight
AI-671/672 on Chennai- Madurai-Chennai-Mumbai sector, which
was then operated by another commander.
The senior commander, who also held the charge of Flight
Operations Inspector with aviation regulator DGCA, was among
highest grade pilots in the country. An FOI can carry out
sanitisation checks in any Indian carrier and their pilots
too. As a Training Captain, Joseph used to hold the status of
a check-pilot, examiner and instructor.
Air India has removed him from all these positions for
three years following the incident and has reported back to
the Minister, the sources said.
Immediately after he tested positive on the alco sensor,
Joseph was taken off the roster for three months and later
removed from all administrative duties "till further notice",
they said, adding that disciplinary action was being initiated
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has taken a
strong stand against drunken pilots, recommending strongest
possible action. It has also asked airlines to improve the
alco sensors to carry out these pre-flight checks.