Captain Arvind Kathpalia, who is also the Director of Operations at Air India, was found to have an unacceptably high blood alcohol count shortly before his flight between New Delhi and London
A senior Air India pilot has been barred from flying for at least three years after he failed the alcohol test before his scheduled international flight on Sunday. Captain Arvind Kathpalia, who is also the Director of Operations at Air India, was found to have an unacceptably high blood alcohol content shortly before his flight from New Delhi to London.
"The privileges of his licence have been suspended for a period of three years from 11.11.2018 as per the provisions of applicable regulations," a spokesperson at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a statement.
Aircraft rules prohibit crew from having any alcoholic beverage 12 hours before a flight, and mandate them to undergo alcohol tests before and after each trip.
The pilot claimed he was the victim of internal feuding within the loss-making national carrier.
This is the second instance when Captain Kathpalia, who has also flown former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the past, had failed the breathalyzer test. In January 2017, he was grounded for three months after tests revealed alcohol in his blood.
According to reports, a court had directed the Delhi police to file a First Information Report or FIR against him for violating aviation rules, tampering with evidence and intimidating a doctor employed by Air India.