Revised CAR does not serve the interests of pilots, says FIP in letter to Civil Aviation Minister

Galgotias Ad

New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) The Federation of Indian Pilots (FIP) has written to Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M. Scindia. alleging that the DGCA has amended the regulation for ‘Consecutive Night Operation’, and deleted the existing proviso, in the revised Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) without any consultations with stakeholders and following due process.

“When a crew has undertaken duties in consecutive nights, then for transition to flights beyond period 0000 to 0600 hrs, he/she should not be scheduled for a flight which is commencing prior to, at least 24 hrs including one local night from arrival of the flight, and prior to company local night plus 2 hrs,” reads regulation 13.4 in CAR dated April 24, 2019.

Simply, this means that if the crew have been on duty for two consecutive nights, they shall not be scheduled for any new flight for at least 24 hours from the time of arrival, if it’s beyond 6 a.m.

The FIP says this regulation has been removed.

The federation’s letter comes after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced on Tuesday that the June 1 deadline for implementing the new pilot rest regulations has been relaxed. As per the aviation regulator, new regulations for the rest of pilots, known as Flight Duty Time Limitation (FDTL) norms, are aimed at ensuring pilots have sufficient rest to reduce the risk of incidents.

The new FDTL norms, introduced in January, increased the rest time for pilots. Airlines are now allowed to continue following the old FDTL norms from 2019 until their respective schemes are approved in accordance with the CAR.

FIP President Captain C.S. Randhawa, in the letter, stated that it came to the notice that the operators, through the Federation of Indian Airlines, have submitted a representation before the DGCA seeking deferment of the implementation of the revised CAR.

Accordingly, the FIP submitted a representation to DGCA as the request of the operators was prejudicial to passenger safety and the FIP asserted that such deferment requests made by the operators should be rejected by the DGCA.

“It is regrettable to observe that the DGCA has chosen to disregard the representations made by the FIP. Without prior consultation with stakeholders, the DGCA proceeded to issue a revised version of the CAR on March 26. This revision eliminates the mandatory requirement for operators to implement the revised CAR before June 1. Instead, operators engaged in scheduled air transport operations are now permitted to continue operations in accordance with CAR Section 7 Series J Part III Issue III dated April 24, 2019, until the approval of their respective schemes, in alignment with the new CAR,” it read.

The FIP claimed that the latest revision by the DGCA has made the Revised CAR a dead letter of the law as it has effectively granted operators discretionary powers in implementing the revised CAR, a decision that does not serve the interests of pilots and the aviation sector in India.

“We would like to state that the latest revision by the DGCA, i.e. omitting the cutoff date for implementation and amendment to the regulations pertaining to Consecutive Night Operation, is arbitrary as it has the effect of ensuring the revised CAR is ‘stillborn’. Clearly, that was not your intent as conveyed to the public at large,” it said.



Comments are closed.