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Nine pilots, 32 crew members suspended for failing alcohol test



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India’s Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended nine pilots and 32 cabin crew members for testing positive during pre-flight alcohol tests.

The tests were conducted between January 1 and April 30.

According to India’s civil aviation watchdog breather analyzer data, the affected personnel included one pilot and five cabin crew members of Go Air, four pilots and ten cabin crew members of IndiGo.

It said one pilot and six cabin crew members of Spice Jet, one pilot of Air India Express, and four crew members of Air Asia, failed the pre-flight alcohol tests.

It listed others as one pilot and two cabin crew members of Vistara, one pilot of Alliance Air and five crew members of Air India.

The aviation regulator said the remaining seven pilots and 30 cabin crew members tested BA positive for the first time and were suspended for three months.

Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, all crew members were required to undergo pre-flight alcohol tests.

However, when the pandemic struck, the tests were suspended for a couple of months and resumed after the withdrawal of restrictions.

In April, the DGCA restrained 90 pilots of SpiceJet airline from operating Boeing 737 Max aircraft on finding them not adequately trained.

Reports said the aviation watchdog asserted that airlines must ensure that 50 per cent of their cockpit and cabin crew members are subject to pre-flight alcohol tests daily.