Air India operations head comes under close scrutiny of DGCA

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New Delhi | Updated: February 10, 2017 11:55 PM

Taking note of the allegations made against Air India's operations head Capt A K Kathpalia, DGCA is gathering information to ascertain whether he had skipped compulsory pre-flight medical test on multiple occasions.

The orders to remove Kathpalia, who is the airline's executive director (operations), from flying duties were issued by DGCA flight safety department. (Reuters)The orders to remove Kathpalia, who is the airline’s executive director (operations), from flying duties were issued by DGCA flight safety department. (Reuters)

Taking note of the allegations made against Air India’s operations head Capt A K Kathpalia, DGCA is gathering information to ascertain whether he had skipped compulsory pre-flight medical test on multiple occasions. Following the regulator’s orders, Air India has already taken him off flying duties after he skipped the pre-flight medical test while operating a flight on January 19.

A senior DGCA official today said Kathpalia did not take medical test either before or after the flight on that day.

Amid allegations that he had skipped the mandatory medical tests on various occasions, the aviation regulator will be gathering medical information from the doctors who carry out such tests.

This is to check whether Kathpalia had skipped the tests on earlier occasions also, according to the DGCA official.

Further, the official said Air India CMD as well as Flight Safety Head have been asked to expedite investigation into the matter.

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Air India had set up a 5-member committee to investigate the allegations.

The probe was necessitated after the airline’s pilots union ICPA brought it to the notice of the management.

“In compliance with the DGCA orders, Capt Kathpalia will not be assigned any flight to operate any more,” sources at Air India had said on Thursday.

The orders to remove Kathpalia, who is the airline’s executive director (operations), from flying duties were issued by DGCA flight safety department.

The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) had complained that a senior executive pilot had evaded pre-flight medical test in the last 25 days at the Delhi airport, the sources had said.

Rule 24 of Aircraft Rules prohibits crew members from taking any alcoholic drink 12 hours prior to the commencement of a flight and it is mandatory for him or her to undergo an alcohol test both before and after operating a flight.

Any crew member who tests positive in the pre-flight medical check or refuses to take a breath-analyser test is required to be taken off flying duty for at least four weeks and the airline is required to initiate disciplinary proceedings. PTI RAM ARD 02101928

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