A Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) report left all airline pilots and crew members failing breath analyzer tests in a state of alarm. The shocking figure showed a rise of 10 per cent of pilots and crew failing this mandatory safety test. As per the aviation regulator DGCA, 224 pilots and crew failed the BA Test in 2016, whereas in the year 2015, 202 pilots and crew failed the test. Meanwhile, the DGCA has called three doctors of Air India in connection with the executive pilot A. K. Kathpalia case, who reportedly evaded the breath analyzer test.
Doctors have been called upon to carry out further inquiry against the off rostered Kathpalia. If the DGCA finds more concrete evidence against him, then disciplinary action can and will be taken. Aircraft rules prohibit crew members from taking any alcohol 12 hours prior to a flight. It is also mandatory for the employee 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 analyzer test is required to be taken off flying duty for at least four weeks and the airline is required to initiate disciplinary proceedings. In the year 2016, a total of 422 violations were reported of which Breath Analyzer failure is more than 50 per cent of incidents at 224.