No alcohol for one week. This is what the pilots of private carrier Jet Airways have decided as part of a novel way to observe a flight safety week at the airline from January 30 to February 5.
The airline pilots, who have seldom found themselves at the receiving end for one reason or the other, have also decided to adhere to “all stabilised approach” in the operations and flight duty time limitation (FDTL) norms, airline sources said.
A stabilised approach is a key feature to a safe approach and landing and a part of the DGCA formulated Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for safe flight operations.
“We are creating awareness among the pilots on how to have a civil life given the FDTL. As part of this, the pilots have decided not to consume alcohol for one week. Also, they will not eat any kind of seafood 12 hours prior to the departure of both domestic and international flights,” Jet Airways sources said.
During the week, the pilots will strictly go by the roster only and perform all “stabilised approach”, the sources said while pointing out that pilots have to face the wrath of DGCA in the form of “warnings” and “notices” several times due to the tinkering in their duty schedule by the management at the eleventh hour.
“There is a shortage of 27 commanders on the Boeing 737 fleet itself, which often results in airline deploying a pilot out of schedule to operate a particular flight. So, they have decided to only go by the roster and FDTL,” the sources said.
When contacted, a Jet Airways spokesperson denied that flight schedules were changed at the last moment.
“This is not correct. There is no last minute change in the roster,” the Jet Spokesperson said.
FDTL are guidelines governing aspects such as maximum daily flight duty period including limitations on flying hour, rest period, staff-on-duty travel and number of landings allowed per pilot as well as the crew.
Jet Airways has around 1,150 pilots including commanders to operate its 104 plane fleet, which comprises Boeing 777s, Airbus 330s, Boeing 737 and ATRs.
The airline pilots had earlier observed a flight safety week in November last year on the Boeing 777s fleet on an experimental basis, the sources said, adding “the pilots decided to extend it on the entire fleet after the previous experience proved to be a success.”