In a significant move, aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation or DGCA on Wednesday proposed breath analyser test for air traffic controllers, aircraft maintenance personnel and ground handling staff.
Currently, only pilots and cabin crew are subject to breath analyser test, which checks whether the individual concerned has consumed alcohol or not at the time of duty.
"It will be a game changer and will help improve safety on the airside. It will prevent incidents as well as accidents in a significant way," a senior DGCA official told PTI.
As per the draft norms, breath analyser test would be applicable for air traffic controllers, flight despatchers, aircraft maintenance personnel and aerodrome operation personnel.
Fire and rescue personnel, vehicle drivers, ground equipment operators and ground handling staff would also be included.
As per the draft Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR), organisations must use a scientifically valid method such as a random-number table or a computer-based random-number generator to select covered employees for testing.
"Each covered employee in the pool must have a unique identifier Employee Number, or other comparable identifying number. The employer must ensure that all employees have an equal chance of being tested each time the selections are made. Specific individuals or groups must not be targeted, including certain occupational groups or locations," it noted.
Those found positive in breath analyser examination or violating the requirements could face strict action, including cancellation of approval or licence, subject to conditions.
"For the ground handling personnel and aerodrome operational personnel, who do not hold any licence/approval, the concerned aerodrome operator shall formulate a procedure for temporary removal from the duty and/or permanent removal from the duty of a personnel involved...," the DGCA said.
Organisations concerned would have to document the process for the breath analyser examination in their respective manuals.
"The employer shall maintain records of breath analyser examination for the personnel. All the relevant records must be preserved for a period of one year," it said.
Comments from the public have been sought on the proposed norms till September 5.
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