Air India's Director of Operations, Arvind Kathpalia, on Tuesday, has been sacked from his post, a day after his flying license got suspended for three years by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)
This decision came after the Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA) called for an immediate removal of Kathpalia from the national carrier's board calling him a 'repeated offender' who is responsible for putting the lives of his passengers in danger.
The airlines grounded its chief of operations Captain A K Kathpalia after he allegedly failed to clear pre-flight alcohol test, while another Air India flight was delayed by over six hours after a pilot forgot to undergo the mandatory breath analyser test, airline sources said.
Kathpalia was to operate the airline's London-New Delhi flight on Sunday afternoon. Air India had to call another pilot to replace him and operate the flight (AI-111), which departed after a delay of 55 minutes, causing inconvenience to passengers, an airline source said.
"We have grounded Capt A K Kathpalia as he failed twice in the breath analyser test. He was to operate the London flight from New Delhi, but he failed to clear the pre-flight alcohol test. He was given another chance, but the second test was also found the positive following which he was grounded," he said.
The co-pilot involved in the incident has been grounded for three months as per the DGCA rules for skipping the pre-flight alcohol test, the source said.
Rule 24 of the Aircraft Rules prohibits crew members from partaking any alcoholic drink 12 hours prior to the commencement of a flight, and it is mandatory for him/her to undergo an alcohol test both before and after operating a flight.
The prescribed punishment for such offenses under the DGCA rules is the suspension of flying license for three months in case of the first breach. For violating the norms for the second time, the license is suspended for three years and for a third time, the licence is permanently canceled.