Immediately terminate Air India's Kathpalia: Pilots' body
Chennai : The Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA) has demanded the immediate termination of Air India's Director (Operations) Arvind Kathpalia from the national carrier's board calling him a "repeated offender" who endangers passengers lives.
In a letter to the Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu, the ICPA said Kathpalia continuing in the top post was "demoralising" for the cadres.
Referring to Kathpalia failing the BA test on November 11, the ICPA said he endangered the lives of innocent passengers.
"The flight was delayed and the passengers were left stranded. Kindly note this is a repeat offence. The said incident resulted in extremely bad publicity to the national carrier," the ICPA said.
"He has repeatedly tarnished the image of Air India and we request his immediate termination from the board," the ICPA said in the letter sent on Monday signed by T. Praveen Keerthi, General Secretary.
The ICPA said it does not want officials with dubious track records heading operations.
The letter was sent when the Indian aviation regulator the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) suspended Kathpalia's license for three years after he failed a pre-flight breath-analyser (BA) test on November 11 before captaining a New Delhi-London flight.
The ICPA in its letter also said an enquiry against Kathpalia is still pending as on January 19, 2017 in Delhi where he operated flight AI-174 and AI-173 without undergoing BA tests.
"The Delhi High Court has ordered a disciplinary enquiry in the conduct of Captain A. Kathpalia with regard to making an entry in the pre-flight medical examination register and ante-dating the same and to take appropriate action in accordance with law.
"To our knowledge, till date the enquiry is still pending," the ICPA letter said.
"While pilots in Air India are charge-sheeted for skipping the BA test, the company refused to charge-sheet Kathpalia so as to facilitate his promotion as a board member," the letter added.