As many as 10 pilots of the Jet Airways have been kept out of flying duties, and their mistake — quoting incorrectly the designation of a senior DGCA official in a communique.
A communication, sent to the aviation watchdog opposing the proposal to increase the notice period for pilots to one year, in which the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official’s designation was written incorrectly, seem to be have backfired with an ‘arbitrary’ regulatory action against them, sources said.
The airline’s domestic pilots body- the National Aviator’s Guild (NAG) – termed the move as “threatening” and said it will, along with other pilots association, approach the Prime Minister’s Office to seek the official’s removal. A response to a query sent to the Jet Airways on the issue was awaited.
The response of the official is not only “threatening” in nature, but also “shows how one individual can hold all the airlines to ransom for an error as minuscule as mentioning his designation incorrectly,” the NAG said in a statement. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has recently proposed a notice period of one year for pilots and six months for co-pilots before leaving the services of their current company.
The DGCA and the officer concerned invited comments on the said draft and a few pilots responded. However, in the response, the DGCA official’s designation was inadvertently written incorrectly.
The DGCA official has also directed the airline to check the “mental alertness of these pilots” since “they could not even quote a designation properly”, sources said.
The airline has asked the 10 pilots to report at the headquarters today following the developments, the sources said, adding the DGCA has also directed the aviators to appear before it tomorrow. “The DGCA official has ordered, albeit illegally, to de- roster more than 10 commanders at extremely short notice allegedly to ascertain their mental capabilities,” the NAG said.
“We, the pilots of National Aviators Guild, ICPA, IPG (the pilots associations of Air India) in conjunction with the Airline Pilots Association of India, plan to approach the PMO with a petition for his removal from the office of the DGCA,” the statement said.
The Guild also said it will be calling a meeting of all pilot bodies under the aegis of the Indian chapter of Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) shortly to form a joint action group to pursue the matter legally and keep all international bodies like the ICAO informed of the proceedings.