The aviation regulator DGCA said on Tuesday that airlines must ensure that 50% of cockpit and cabin crew members are subjected to daily pre-flight alcohol tests.
All crew members were required to undergo pre-flight alcohol tests prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. These tests were put on hold for a few months when the pandemic broke out. The tests were later resumed, but only for a small percentage of the crew.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced on Tuesday that 50% of crew members will be subjected to these tests “in light of the decreasing trend of COVID-19 cases and increased volume of air traffic as a result of the resumption of normal operations.”
“In the case of flying training institutes, 50% of instructors and 40% of student pilots shall be subjected to daily pre-flight breath-analyser,” according to the DGCA’s notice.
It stated that charter plane operators or owners must ensure that 50% of their crew members undergo these tests.
The DGCA stated that every aviation employee reporting for duty must submit an undertaking that he or she is not under the influence of alcohol and has not consumed alcohol in the previous 12 hours from the time of reporting for duty.
“The cockpit crew, cabin crew shall submit the undertaking in the presence of medical staff and the same shall be caught on camera,” it added. The DGCA said the notice issued on Tuesday will be in place for a three-month period only.
India resumed full scheduled overseas flights on March 27 this year. The country resumed full scheduled domestic flights on October 18, 2021.