Air India pilot found drunk before takeoff suspended for 3 years

Air India pilot found drunk before takeoff suspended for 3 years”

Air India's Director-Operations, Capt Arvind Kathpalia, was grounded on Sunday after he failed to clear the pre-flight breath analyser test.

The second test, conducted at 1.50 pm, showed a higher 0.08 per cent blood alcohol content.

A veteran pilot had his flying licence revoked Monday after failing a breath test moments before captaining an Air India plane to London, India's aviation regulator said.

An Air India aircraft takes off from the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad.

"The privileges of his licence have been suspended for a period of three years from 11 November as per the provisions of applicable regulations", aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a statement.

India is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world, with a 20% increase in the number of passengers taking domestic and global flights over the past few years.

On January 19 a year ago, Kathpalia commandeered the Delhi-Bengaluru flight AI 174 without going through the mandatory breathalyser test. When Arvind questioned her that why was he not told about this earlier, the doctor said that there was some glitch with the machine as it was taking time to register.

The flight was scheduled to take off at 2:45 this afternoon.

This is not the first time Capt Kathpalia has been in news for wrong reasons. The airline further mandates them to undergo alcohol test before and after every flight.

Captain A.K. Kathpalia, who was to operate AI-111 flight to London from New Delhi Sunday, was replaced after his alcohol test came positive.

He said Kathpalia was handed a three-month ban in 2017 for skipping a mandatory alcohol breath test.

Meanwhile, another Air India flight, AI 332, from New Delhi to Bangkok was also reportedly forced to turn back less than half an hour after departure because the airline staff realised that the one of its pilots skipped his mandatory medical tests.

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