Air India pilot loses licence after failing breath test

November 13,2018

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NEW DELHI: A veteran pilot had his flying licence revoked Monday after failing a breath test moments before captaining an Air India plane to London, India´s aviation regulator said.

Arvind Kathpalia, a pilot and senior executive with the national airline, blew positive for alcohol before entering the Dreamliner jet´s cockpit for the nearly 10-hour flight to the United Kingdom on Sunday.

"He failed the breath analyser and as per rules we have decided to cancel his licence for three years with immediate effect," an official with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation told AFP.

He said Kathpalia was handed a three-month ban in 2017 for skipping a mandatory alcohol breath test.

All pilots and crew are barred from consuming alcohol in the 12 hours before their flying duties and are subject to regular breath tests. Kathpalia has denied the allegations, describing them as a smear campaign levelled by rivals, local media reported.


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