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Air India pilot sacked for being drunk on flight from Phuket

PHOTO: AviationA2Z/Harsh Tekriwal

Air India has fired a pilot after he tested positive for alcohol after flying an aircraft from Phuket to New Delhi.

The Times of India reports that an airline source has confirmed the pilot has been sacked.

“We have zero tolerance of these things and have taken very strong action, of not only terminating his service but are also planning to file an FIR as operating a flight under influence of alcohol is a criminal act. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has been informed.”

A FIR, or First Information Report, is the formal process for documenting a crime and is the first step in the prosecution process in India.

The pilot in question was subjected to a breathalyser test after operating a Phuket – Delhi flight last week, according to the report. It’s understood the flight was a training flight for a new captain.

On domestic flights within India, pilots and cabin crew must undergo pre-flight breathalyser tests as no alcohol is available on board flights within the country. However, for international flights, where alcohol is available, the tests are conducted after the flight has landed.

According to The Times of India report, during the first 6 months of last year, 33 pilots and 97 cabin crew members failed breathalsyer tests. Crew members who fail a test for the first time will have their licence suspended for 3 months. A second offence means the licence is suspended for 3 years, while someone who tests positive for a third time will lose their licence.

SOURCE: The Times of India

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