Limit Flight Hours For Pilots, Delhi High Court Tells Aviation Regulator DGCA

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Limit Flight Hours For Pilots, Delhi High Court Tells Aviation Regulator DGCA

Posted on : Thursday 19th of April 2018

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NEW DELHI:  Flight hours for pilots should be limited, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). It also said that the civil aviation body is bound to comply with the provisions of the Aviation Act and Rules and must specify the maximum and minimum flying hours. It should also prescribe the flight and duty time limitation (FDTL), the court said.

The court passed this direction while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) that pointed out possible fatigue caused to pilots and other airline crew by long flying hours.

The plea was filed by Kerala resident Yeshwanth Shenoy who alleged that the DGCA norm on flight and duty time limitation was violating the rules as it allowed air operators to stretch the duty hours of pilots.

The maximum prescribed limit for pilots is eight hours of flight time and six landings per day, but it was being flouted under the regulator's watch, Mr Shenoy told the court.

Many airline accidents had occurred due to pilot fatigue, the plea said, adding that "one of the contributing factors to the Mangalore air crash (of May 2010 that killed 152 people) was pilot fatigue".

Taking cognizance of the plea, the court directed the DGCA not to permit a pilot to fly a maximum of 125 hours over 30 consecutive days so that the pilot remains within the prescribed fatigue limits.

Expressing concerns that fatigued pilots and cabin crew are posing a risk to passenger safety, the court observed that staff shortage cannot justify overworking of pilots.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also directed the DGCA to review the civil aviation requirement (CAR) and frame new flying rules within one year.

Courtesy : NDTV

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