Air India pilot grounded after failing breath analyser test

Photo: Shutterstock
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. 

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel