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Air India Pilot, Suspended Over Alcohol In Hair Serum, Moves Court

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The pilot had argued that alcohol levels that showed up in his test were even below permissible limits.

New Delhi: 

An Air India pilot, suspended last year, after alcohol traces in his hairfall treatment serum showed up on the breath analyser, has challenged aviation watchdog DGCA’s decision to ground him.

The pilot appealed in the Delhi High Court that the alcohol levels that showed up in the breath analyser test were well below the international permissible standards of 0.40.

He has contended that the blood and urine tests, immediately conducted by him from a private lab on the same day as the breath analyser (BA) test, did not show any alcohol in his system.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which had in May 2018 suspended him for three years, told the court that its standards for permissible alcohol levels were zero.

It also said that the pilot had once in the past also tested positive for alcohol before a pre-flight BA test and he had back then claimed that it was due to consumption of cough syrup.

The pilot had initially appealed against his three year suspension before the ministry which, in April this year, upheld the DGCA decision.

Subsequently, he moved the high court against his suspension.

The high court has issued notice to the ministry and DGCA seeking their stand on the pilot”s plea.

Taking note of the low level of alcohol which showed up in the test, the court observed that the pilot may not have necessarily been drunk.



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