Pilots write to DGCA, demand clarification over duty timings

DGCA issued a show cause notice to Air India pilots who reported late at work

sweta-ranjan

Sweta Ranjan | April 1, 2015



After facing the ire of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) over reporting timings as it issued show cause notice to late comers, the Indian Commercial Pilots' Association has written a letter to the DGCA requesting a clarification on the same issue.

The letter dated March 26 reads, “We request you to kindly let us know where and what is documented in the rules as to getting late for a flight (inadvertently) is an offence or violation. And what is the penalty or action reserved or promulgated for it”.

The letter by the ICPA says, “Different airlines in India have different reporting times for different flights (domestic/international). For the same kind of job i.e. preflight cockpit safety checks some have 30 minutes prior to departure others have 35 minutes or even less or more as per their assessment.

Accordingly they have fixed reporting times at PFM (Pre Flight Medical)/dispatch, which are not uniform across the board. Clearly this time has been fixed by individual airlines, and you as DGCA have approved it. We would like to know the rationale behind this, how is pilot of one airline more efficient than that of other and is able to do the same work for the same type of aircraft and operations in lesser time. What are the criteria to judge such efficiency or deficiency?”

The pilots body writes, “We wonder, how have you ignored the stressful working conditions and plight of our pilots, cabin crew, engineers, and all other employees due to non-payment of full salary and allowances for last almost 32 months.”

The union has also demanded DGCA to look into matters that are related to flight safety. The letter reads, “Crew are being printed back to back early morning flights leading to cumulative fatigue. There is an endeavour by the airlines to utilize crew to the limit of FDTL (Flight Duty Time Limitation) as often as possible. These limits of FDTL as per our understanding should be treated as extremities and should be approached only in unavoidable circumstances, not as routine crew schedule planning…..The crew letters are printed without weekly off’s in total disregard to CAR (Civil Aviation Requirements)….”.

The notice was served to the company after the DGCA team carried out spot check on 26 February at Delhi airport and pulled up a pilot who reached the cockpit late by one minute.

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