Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

Check if breath analyser test needed for Covid: HC to DGCA

- Press Trust of India letters@hindustant­imes.com

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court Tuesday directed civil aviation regulator DGCA to set up a medical committee to examine whether breath analyser (BA) tests of pilots and cabin crew need to be conducted or blood tests would suffice as an alternativ­e.

Justice Prathiba M Singh said the committee shall keep in mind the safety of passengers as also of pilots and cabin crew while deciding whether conducting BA tests would be advisable during the prevailing pandemic which has seen a surge in infections. The order was passed in view of an April 27 draft order of the Directorat­e General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) which has decided that 10 per cent of flight crew and cabin crew members involved in domestic operations shall be subjected to random preflight BA test.

The regulator said that under the new testing protocol, which was a temporary measure and would be valid till May 17, air traffic controller­s would be subjected to random BA test before commenceme­nt of duty at each station on a daily basis.

DGCA also told the court that undertakin­gs are required to be furnished by flight and cabin crew that they have not consumed any alcohol or psychotrop­ic substance in the 12 hours prior to a flight. The court directed that the committee shall place its report before the next date of hearing on May 5.

Meanwhile, DGCA shall implement the new protocols starting from Wednesday, April 28, the court said.

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