COVID: Breath analyser tests set to resume for pilots, crew as situation improves

The compulsory daily breath analyser (BA) tests were paused during the deadly second wave of the COVID 19 pandemic

New Delhi: The Director-General Of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is set to re-start the mandatory breath analyser (BA) tests for all pilots, crew and other staff involved in flight operations.

The compulsory daily breath analyser (BA) tests were paused during the deadly second wave of the COVID 19 pandemic in India.

The aviation watchdog DGCA on Tuesday told ANI that they were monitoring the situation.

"The situation is improving and if there is no third wave, we will restore it to 100 per cent," DGCA told ANI.

Recently, Arun Kumar, the DGCA chief called a meeting for discussing several issues in which the mandatory breath analyser test was also discussed.

"The officials and stakeholders have been asked to submit a detailed report on this," the official added.

When asked how the breath analyser tests are currently performed at airports, the official said that the DGCA does random tests at the airports.

Air India's pilots' union and several other airlines had earlier written to the DGCA to stop BA tests as they increased the risk of infection during the outbreak of the COVID pandemic.

"DGCA said that a maximum of 5% of pilots and cabin crew members would be subjected to random pre-flight BA testing on a daily basis, subject to the limitation that not more than six people would be tested at any time of the day. The aviation regulator also tested air traffic controllers (ATCOs) for a random BA test before their daily duty," said the DGCA.

This comes after the Delhi High Court (HC) ordered the DGCA to issue guidelines to follow all the requirements and protocols for the administration of BA tests during the pandemic. Regarding Pre Flight BA Compulsory tests the DGCA plans to inform the High Court regarding their commencement.
Meanwhile, the drunken driving tests have been resumed in the national capital by the Delhi traffic police.

In order to avoid the transmission of COVID-19, the breath analyser tests were halted in March 2020 as numerous individuals had to handle the equipment which is used to test the quantity of alcohol in a driver's breath.

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