DGCA allows out-of-service pilots to travel in the jump seat of flight decks, relax the ban

NEW DELHI: The General Directorate of Civil Aviation ( DGCA ) has now allowed pilots out of service to enter and travel in the cockpit in the jump seat (additional seat behind where the pilots are), relaxing their previous prohibition of entering the cabin by anyone, except the airline crew, to operate that flight. The regulator's amendment, which pilots say will improve safety, now allows crew members, officials of that airline and the assembled office to travel in the jump seat.

However, staff members who can now enter the cabin will have to clear the pre-flight breath analyzer (BA) tests to prove they are perfectly sober before they can travel in the jump seat. Similarly, on international flights, they must complete the post-flight randomized BA test to show that they had no liquor while traveling on the flight deck.

The DGCA had banned this common practice after a senior pilot working with an Indian airline was found tipsy in pre-flight breath analyzer (BA) test before doing additional crew member (ACM, traveling on jump seat in cockpit of a flight that he/she is not operating) travel on a Delhi-Bengaluru flight which did not have any vacant seat in the passenger cabin this July. Following this, the regulator had issued an order banning travel of airline officials like pilots and engineers from traveling in cockpits when on leave or when not rostered to operate those flights.

Later, the Association of Commercial Pilots of India (ICPA, former Indian Airlines pilots union) requested the regulator to revoke this order on the grounds that an additional qualified crew member is always an asset in the cabin. It increases the level of safety and also safety in the cabin. If an emergency situation arises in the cabin, the ACM will be invaluable help. ICPA had cited the case of United Flight 232 where a captain traveling as ACM helped the flight crew that had suffered the loss of the three hydraulic systems. on the plane It was only with the help of the ACM that the flight landed safely.

The DGCA on Tuesday issued an order that allows certain sections of airline, aviation and met department officials to travel on the jump seat inside cockpits of Indian-registered aircraft. These include: “crew members; met officer authorized by DGCA to perform official duties in cockpit; officer in the ministry of civil aviation of the rank of joint secretary above, who by virtue of his/her functions may enter the cockpit inspection; employee of the aircraft operator, who has the permission the pilot-in- command (PIC) and whose duties are such that his/her entry the cockpit is necessary for safe operation of the aircraft. ”

Among the others now permitted to travel in jump seat are: “Officials of airline, who have been deputed for familiarization of flight for better practical understanding and knowledge of the functions of the instruments used in the cockpit provided prior permission has been obtained from the pilot -in-command; any flight crew member of the aircraft operator, who has been authorized by the aircraft operator and has the permission of PIC, whose presence in the cockpit shall be beneficial to the overall safety of operations; duly authorized representative of the manufacturer of the aircraft, who is required to observe the techniques used by the pilots and monitor the instruments provided prior permission of the pilot-in-command has been obtained for such entry; or any other person authorized by the DGCA. ”