New Delhi, Sep 27 (IANS) The Federation of Indian Pilots (FIP) has written to the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) seeking temporary suspension of the breath analyser test (BAT) due to fears around the ongoing Covid pandemic.
In the letter to DGCA, FIP said: “As the Covid 19 virus cases are increasing day by day, our members are apprehensive to undergo the BA Test. You will appreciate that in the present scenario of unprecedented crisis, their fears cannot be ruled out and temporary suspension of BA Test is essential.”
FIP said while it endorses the conduct of BAT as the most reliable and efficient way of detecting alcohol in breath, due to the current extraordinary situation due to Covid pandemic, DGCA should reconsider their order.
While on the one hand BATs are necessary for the safety of passengers, at the same time pilots cannot be subjected to higher risk due to undergoing BAT with the same instrument.
FIP said the directive permitting the repetitive use of the same BAT equipment could pose a risk to the pilots and would be non-pragmatic and unwise.
Earlier, the Executive Pilots’ Association had asked the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to keep in abeyance the order on mandatory breath alcohol testing for 100 per cent of crewmembers operating international flights.
In a letter to the DGCA, the association said the operative part of the subject order on 100 per cent testing of crew operating international flights be placed in abeyance till a failsafe disinfection protocol is in place.
In a letter to DGCA, the association Pilots’ Association said the practice of 100 per cent BA testing was discontinued a few months ago, at the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic, when the countrywide case count was less than 1000.