The aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), updated its guidelines for performing pre-flight breathalyser (BA) tests for pilots and cabin crew with immediate effect on Tuesday, citing a lowering trend of Covid-19 instances and an increase in air traffic volume. According to the amended regulations, 50% of pilots and cabin crew members would be exposed to a random pre-flight BA test, up from the previous requirement of 25%.
“We are trying to restore normalcy and bring back protocols ensuring safe navigation,” DGCA director general Arun Kumar said.
While 50% of the cockpit and cabin crew will now be exposed to the random pre-flight BA test, 10% of ground handlers, air traffic controllers, and other airport personnel will also be tested.
The methods for BA examination of workers involved in aircraft maintenance, air traffic control services, aerodrome operations, and ground handling services for detecting alcohol use are covered by this civil aviation requirement (CAR).
The DCGA stressed that these instructions are only a temporary solution in light of the current Covid-19 crisis, and that they will be in effect for three months from the date of release. ‘The restoration of provisions of this CAR will be reviewed after three months,’ the order said.