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Federation of Indian Pilots flags deferment of revised duty norms; writes to aviation ministry

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NewsDrum Desk
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Mumbai, Mar 29 (PTI) The Federation of Indian Pilots (FIP) has raised concerns about aviation regulator DGCA deferring the implementation of the revised flight duty norms for pilots, saying the health of pilots cannot be prejudiced for the commercial benefit of operators.

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The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), on March 26, deferred the implementation of the revised Flight Duty Time Limitations (FDTL) norms that were to be effective from June 1.

The new framework, which would provide more rest hours for pilots, was proposed amid concerns about pilot fatigue.

In a letter dated March 28 to Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, the FIP has flagged concerns about the DGCA decision.

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"The action of the DGCA not only endangers pilot safety but also undermines the safety of passengers which the implementation of the revised CAR (Civil Aviation Requirements) could prevent.

"Furthermore, the health and safety of the pilots cannot be prejudiced for the commercial benefit of the operators," the letter said. The FIP has around 5,000 members who are pilots and those related to aviation.

The grouping also flagged the regulator's decision to omit the cutoff date for amending the regulations pertaining to consecutive night operation as "arbitrary".

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"The latest revision by the DGCA has made the revised CAR a dead letter of the law as it has effectively granted operators and discretionary power in implementing the revised CAR," it said.

Copies of the letter have been marked to civil aviation secretary and DGCA chief. Further, the FIP said the decision does not serve the interests of pilots and the aviation sector in India.

The revised FDTL norms provide for increased weekly rest time to 48 hours for pilots and limit the number of landings to two during night operations.

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Besides, the night hours for pilots will be extended to cover the period from 00:00-06:00 hours, whereas it was 00:00-05:00 hours earlier.

Also, all airlines have to compulsorily submit quarterly fatigue reports, which "should follow a non-punitive and confidentiality policy".

Earlier, airlines had written to the DGCA seeking more time for implementing the revised rules that were issued on January 8. PTI IAS RAM TRB

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