DGCA forms committee to review guidelines on rest period for pilots

DELHI: Rest periods given to pilots in India are not as per the international guidelines. International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has reportedly pulled up the aviation regulator over the Flight and Duty Time Limitation (FDTL) regulations that are there at present during its audit last year and it will keep following this up with the regulator, reports The Statesman.

After ICAO rapped the regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has constituted a committee to review the FDTL regulations and changes are expected in two to three months. DGCA-constituted Committee is being headed by Flight Inspection Directorate of the regulator. The committee has sought suggestions from various organisations including airlines. Air India and Rotary Wing Society of India (RWSI) have already given their suggestions.

Aviation experts say that international norms are not being followed by Airlines at present on fatigue risk management. ICAO has made amendments in guidelines on “Operation of Aircraft” saying that a more scientific FDTL should be implemented by operators worldwide and International Aircraft Transport Association (IATA) has endorsed it.

In past, a few accidents including the most recent one of Jet Airways aircraft veering off from the runway in Goa while landing last year has been attributed to fatigue of the pilots by aviation safety experts.

“In some sectors flying may be strenuous like hilly areas needing more rest period. If the pilots are stationed at a height of more than 10,000 feet, the atmosphere is rarefied and digestion is slow causing stress. FDTL should be changed for pilots flying in Badrinath, Shimla, Kedarnath and Amarnath,” said Secretary General of RWSI, Group Captain M K Labroo.


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