Nearly 100 pilots found drunk in pre-flight tests since 2011
New Delhi: Almost 100 pilots have been punished for being drunk ahead of flights between 2011 and June 30 this year, though there has been a declining trend of alcoholism among the cockpit crew, Rajya Sabha was told on Tuesday.
From 2011 till June 30 this year, a total of 97 pilots have been found drunk in pre-flight alcohol checks. Of them, 28 pilots belong to Jet Airways and 17 pilots each were from IndiGo and SpiceJet, Minister of State for Civil Aviation G M Siddeshwara said in reply to a question.
While 17 pilots tested positive during pre-flight breathalyser examination in 2011, 41 were found drunk in 2012, 31 in 2013 and eight till June 30 this year, he said.
As per the guidelines of aviation regulator DGCA, pilots tested positive for alcohol consumption for the first time are suspended for three months and those tested the second time for five years.
All the 17 pilots caught in 2011 were suspended for three months, while 41 were punished in 2012, of whom one each of Jet Airways and GoAir were caught for the second time and suspended for five years, Siddeshwara said.
In 2013, one pilot of Jet Airways and another belonging to IndiGo were suspended for five years after being found drunk the second time while 29 others suspended for three months, he said.
Eight pilots have been found drunk till June 30 this year, including three of SpiceJet and two of IndiGo.
While seven of them were caught for the first time and suspended for three months, one of them belonging to IndiGo was suspended for five years as he was found drunk for the second time, he said.
Airlines are asked to take action against such pilots and also educate their flight crew on the adverse effects of alcohol and drugs, the Minister said.
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