Air India pilot grounded after failing breath analyser test

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Air India senior pilot Arvind Kathpalia, who tested positive in a pre-flight breath analyser (BA) test, has been grounded, Air India Chief of Flight Safety said on Sunday.

“Air India pilot Captain Arvind Kathpalia has been grounded. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has been informed to take necessary action,” the official said.

Reacting to the incident, Air India Chief Managing Director (CMD) Pradeep Singh Kharola told ANI, "Action as per rule will be taken."

Meanwhile, the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) has written to the Ministry of Civil Aviation to take action against the Air India pilot.

Kathpalia was found positive in a pre-flight breath analyser test on and declared 'not fit to fly'. He was scheduled to fly AI-111 flight from Delhi to London today.

According to the ICPA, Kathpalia had skipped the BA test on January 19 last year. He was scheduled to operate a flight from New Delhi to Bengaluru and proceeded to do so without undergoing the mandatory test claiming that the flight would get delayed. Upon landing at Bengaluru, the pilot once again refused to undergo the test.

The ICPA had also claimed that the signature pilots are mandated to make in a register upon completion of duty was also allegedly forged by Kathpalia.

The DGCA had suspended Kathpalia last year for three months after he had skipped a compulsory pre-flight medical test on several occasions.

It is mandatory for pilots to undertake the BA test to ensure that they are not in an inebriated state before entering the cockpit. For safety reasons, they are prohibited from consuming alcohol before reporting for duty. 


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