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18 staff at airlines, airports test positive for alcohol: DGCA

Aviation watchdog DGCA on Friday said 18 people, including staff from airlines, have tested positive for alcohol since introduction of breath analyser examination for such people from October 1.

The breath analyser examination has been put in place for Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs), communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) personnel, aircraft maintenance, aerodrome operation people, fire and rescue personnel, and vehicle drivers, including those of catering and refuelling vehicles.

Besides, it is applicable for ground equipment operators, ground handling personnel and flight dispachers.

At present, breath analyser test for these personnel is carried out at Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Cochin, Lucknow and Guwahati airports.

“In the month of October, we had 14 such cases of BA (Breath Analyser) positive and till date, four such cases during the month of November,” the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a statement.

Under the regulations, any person who tests positive in the test would be suspended for three months.

As per the regulator’s estimate, the test would be applicable for around 30,000 employees largely working on the airside of the airports. Out of these people, 10 per cent would be randomly checked for alcohol every day.

The DGCA aims to implement breath analyser examination at all the licensed airports by December 31.

The norms for breath analyser examination of the personnel engaged in aircraft maintenance, ATC services, aerodrome operations and ground handling services for detecting consumption of alcohol came into effect from October 1.

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