The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday issued guidelines to resume mandatory Breath Analyser Test for all pilots and cabin crew. The development comes in view of the declining trend of COVID-19 cases.
Earlier, considering the rising cases of COVID-19, only six such personnel were allowed to undergo the test in one hour.
Issuing a statement, the DGCA said, “The decision has been taken in view of falling COVID-19 cases and an increase in the volume of air traffic as a result of the resumption of normal operations.”
Also known as an alcohol test, the Breath Analyser Test is a mandatory pre-flight and post-flight test for pilots and cabin crew.
On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court said that the conduct of Breath Analyser Test (BAT) for staff of ATC, Commercial pilots, cabin crew, and other staff members shall continue as per the guidelines issued by the DGCA in light of the status of COVID-19 pandemic.
On the plea moved by DGCA seeking modification of the order of May 11, 2021, Justice Pratibha M Singh passed the order.
Later, the Delhi HC granted liberty to the DGCA to move a plea seeking modification at a later stage. However, the court, for the time being, dispensed with its earlier direction mandating only six personnel be tested in one hour in view of the increase in air traffic and the reduction in coronavirus cases.
The court further refused to allow the request to conduct BAT as per pre-COVID protocol, i.e., allowing medical staff to conduct BAT on others in the testing area without conducting their own Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).
Thus, at this stage, the said test would continue to be mandatory, in terms of the order of May 11, 2021, the court said.