Indian aviation regulatory body, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has temporarily suspended breath analyser (BA) test for aviation personnel across all airports in the country, in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision comes after Indian low-cost carrier Spicejet stated that one of its pilots tested positive for the virus, despite not flying any international flight in March this year. Air India pilots union is also said to have asked DGCA to temporarily suspend the BA test as it could lead to spread of infection.

As per the DGCA notice “every aviation personnel, who is reporting for duty, is required to submit an undertaking in respect of the fact that he or she is not under the influence of alcohol and that he/she has not consumed alcohol/psychoactive substance in last 12 hours from the time of reporting for duty.”

The undertaking should also contain a warning that the license/approval will be suspended for a period of three years in case of violation of rules.

Furthermore, employer organisations have also been asked to carry out random checks for pilots and cabin crew members to ensure the compliance of rule 24 of the Aircraft Rules 1937, dictating prohibition on consumption of intoxicating and psychoactive substances.