Government asks Air India to follow duty time limitations

September 11th, 2012 - 9:21 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 11 (IANS) To improve staff utilisation of the national carrier, the government Tuesday directed Air India to immediately implement the flight duty time limitations (FDTL) for pilots and crew members.

FDTL are guidelines which govern aspects like the maximum daily flight duty period including flying hours limitations, rest period, staff on duty travel and number of landings allowed per pilot as well as the crew to retain their licence.

“Direction to Air India to follow the FDTL will lead to optimum utilisation of its pilots and crew members and will reduce the requirements of pilots and cabin crew for a given number of aircraft,” the civil aviation ministry said in a statement.

“(This) will spare significant number of pilots, cabin crew members for additional aircraft which the Air India is going to acquire up to 2015.”

A comparative analysis by the ministry found the national carrier flouting FDTL guidelines framed by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

“The analysis found that except for one parameter out of six FDTL parameters which is ‘rest period’, all other parameters followed by Air India for its pilots and crew members are on the lower side,” the statement said.

Even the Dharmadhikari committee, which was tasked with looking into the passenger carrier’s human resource (HR) issues, had recommended strict implementation of the FDTL.

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