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Breath analyser tests: DGCA's diktat for pilots

Source: PTI
October 03, 2023 20:45 IST
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Pilots might soon be asked not to use perfume, mouthwash and tooth gel as that may result in positive breath analyser test.


Photograph: Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has sought comments on a draft Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) wherein it has also proposed barring crew from using any "drug/formulation or use any substance such as mouthwash/tooth gel/perfume or any such product which has alcoholic content".

Comments have been sought on the CAR, which pertains to procedure for medical examination of aircraft personnel for alcohol consumption, till October 5.


Under the DGCA norms, for all scheduled operators, each flight crew member and cabin crew member shall be subjected to pre-flight breath analyser examination at first departure airport during a flight duty period.

For all scheduled flights originating from destinations outside India, post-flight breath analyser examination of each flight crew and cabin crew shall be carried out at first port of landing in India, as per the norms.

As per the draft CAR, no crew member shall consume any drug/formulation or use any substance such as mouthwash/tooth gel/perfume or any such product which has alcoholic content.

"This may result into positive breath analyser test.

"Any crew member who is undergoing such medication shall consult the company doctor before undertaking flying assignment," it noted.

About the draft CAR, a former Air India pilot said a direction with respect to the use of perfume, mouthwash and tooth gel will be for the good of pilots but it should be in the form of an advisory rather than being part of the regulations.

Reviews of regulations are done from time to time but there should not be too many restrictions on pilots, he added.

Among others, all maintenance personnel/flight crew shall be subjected to breath analyser examination for alcohol consumption before undertaking any taxi operation of  the aircraft.

According to the draft CAR, operators shall make available at least two serviceable breath analyser equipment fuel cell technology based, capable of giving accurate digital value up to three decimal places with a memory to store and recall at least last 1,000 records.

Stringent punishments are in place when a crew tests positive in a breath analyser test, depending on whether it is repetitive.

It is applicable for both pre and post flights.

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