DGCA suspends flying licence of Air India operations director for 3 years


During the test, it was also revealed that he had a high amount of alcohol count in his blood which is totally unacceptable by the authorities. In 2017, when he held the post of executive director of operations of Air India, he was de-rostered for missing his mandatory breathalyzer before flying.

Capt Kathpalia was made to take the breathalyzer test twice and he failed the test on both the occasions. He was declared "unfit to fly" by Air India's medical service department and grounded with the remarks: "He is under the influence of alcohol at present". Earlier, Kathpalia was grounded for three months in 2017 after alcohol was found in his bloodstream.

Aviation rules prohibit pilots from drinking 12 hours before flying and pre-flight alcohol tests are mandatory for them. In fact, under the Aircraft Rules, a second offence warrants a punishment of three-year suspension.

Arvind Kathpalia, the pilot, also serves on the board of directors of the state-owned airline and is in charge of its overall flight operations.

The incident sparked outrage on social media.

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Mr Kathpalia was to operate the Air India's AI-111 flight to London from New Delhi on Sunday afternoon. "Director, Operations of Air India was drunk before flight?" Air India Express Flight Hits ATC Compound Wall at Trichy Airport, Close Shave For 136 Passengers.

A senior official at the DGCA said that a decision on Kathpalia's flying licence is expected to be taken on Monday.

Sources said Prabhu has already asked Air India to initiate action.

Upon landing at Bengaluru, the pilot once again refused to undergo the test.

In the case of Kathpalia being detected "BA positive" on November 11, the privileges of his licence have been suspended for a period of three years as per the provisions of applicable regulations, the official said.