Hyderabad: Forty-nine commercial pilots of scheduled and non-scheduled air operators tested breath analyser positive during pre-flight medical examinations in 2018. The number is considerably higher than in 2015 and 2017.
There was also a case of unethical behavior when pilots of Jet Airways flight 9W119 (London to Mumbai) picked up an argument and stepped out of the cockpit while the aircraft was in the air. This was the only case reported in 2018.
Another violation that came to the notice of civil aviation authorities was that 28 pilots and nine crew members of the state-run Air India evaded the breath analyser test in 2017, though it is mandatory according to Section 5 – Series F – Part 3 of the civil aviation requirement.
A senior civil aviation officer told this newspaper that licences of all those who evaded mandatory tests were suspended. “According to regulation, if a crew member evades breathalyser test, the privileges of the licence of the involved crew member are suspended for 3 months. In case of repeat evasion, the licence of the involved crew member is suspended for 3 years”.
Air traffic saw a significant rise in 2018. The total number of air passengers registered between January- December 2018 was 20.90 million, a 12 per cent rise over the previous year. International air travel rose by 21 per cent and domestic travel by 24 per cent.
Among the seven joint venture international airports across the country, Hyderabad stood second in highest number of air travelers, while Bangalore bagged gold. Highest air traffic was noticed on December 21, 2018, with over 70,000 passengers flying out of Hyderabad, the maximum the airport saw since its inception
“Passenger footfall touched 20.90 million in 2018, up by 21 per cent from the last calendar year,” a senior official working at the international airport said. “In terms of domestic passengers, the airport witnessed 17.01 million footfalls, up by 23 per cent. That apart, the airport has handled approximately 3.89 million international passengers from Jan-Dec 2018, which is up by 12 per cent.”...