New Delhi: Suspended pilot Arvind Kathpalia was on Friday appointed Director (Operations) of Air India by the government.
The Air India Pilot Association (AIPA) took strong objection to the appointment of Kathpalia and has written a letter to the government on this matter.
A copy of the ICPA letter in ANI's possession said, "It is astounding to note that a person with dubious track record to being promoted to a reputed high level post in Air India. It is known that he willfully evaded the breathanalyser test pre and post operating the flight. He had fudged the pre-flight register by signing the register after operating the flight without performing the breath analyzer, which amounts to "fraud and forgery' a criminal act endangering the lives of others".
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet on Thursday approved Kathpalia's appointment for a period of five years.
Kathpalia, at present Executive Director at AIL, drew attention when his flying licence was suspended by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
After failing the breath-analyser test, the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) had demanded that Kathpalia should not continue as Executive Director (Operations) at Air India.
The DGCA suspended Kathpalia's flying licence for three months last month after he had skipped a compulsory pre-flight medical test on several occasions.
Kathpalia had said that he had driven straight to the aircraft after attending a meeting with officials of the civil aviation regulator as the flight was getting late. However, it is mandatory for pilots to undertake the breath-analyser test to ensure that they are not drunk before entering the cockpit.