Aviation regulator DGCA on Tuesday allowed off-duty pilots and off-duty cabin crew members to travel in the jump seat of plane's cockpit, according to an official order.
On July 15, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had barred airline officials, including pilots, cabin crew and aircraft maintenance engineers, from travelling in the cockpit when they are off-duty or on leave.
The order had come after an off-duty pilot of Air India tested positive in a pre-flight alcohol test on July 13 when he was scheduled to travel in the jump seat of the plane's cockpit from Delhi to Bengaluru.
The Tuesday order issued by the DGCA stated that "for the purpose of security of aircraft operations", no person "shall enter the cockpit and occupy the jump seat" during flight time unless "he or she is any flight crew member of the aircraft operator, who has been authorised by the aircraft operator and has the permission of the pilot in command, whose presence in the cockpit shall be beneficial for the overall safety of operations".
Flight crew members include the cockpit crew (pilots) and cabin crew members (flight attendants).
A DGCA official clarified that while Tuesday's order does permit off-duty pilots and off-duty cabin crew members to travel in the cockpit's jump seat, they will have to still undergo pre-flight alcohol test just like the pilots flying the plane.
The order said that an employee of the airline - apart from flight crew staff - "whose duties are such that his or her entry to the cockpit is necessary for safe operation of aircraft" can also travel in cockpit's jump seat with the approval of pilot-in-command.
It also allowed any "officer of the Civil Aviation Department or India Meteorological Department, authorized by the DGCA to perform official duties" to travel in the cockpit's jump seat.
The order also said that officials of the airline, who have been deputed for familiarization of flight for better practical understanding of cockpit instruments, can travel in jump seat if they have the approval of pilot-in-command.
The order said that any "representative of manufacturer of aircraft", who has to observe pilots and instruments, can travel in the jump seat with the approval of pilot-in-command.
It also said that any other person authorised by the DGCA can travel in the cockpit's jump seat too.