Press Information Bureau, 11 September 2012: Minister of Civil Aviation ShriAjit Singh has directed Air India to immediately implement the Guidelines of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)/ Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) on Flight Duty Time Limitations (FDTL) for its pilots and crew members. Shri Singh had earlier asked to do a comparative analysis of the FDTL as followed by Air India with theDGCA norms. 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 membersare on the lower side.
The FDTL basically deals with six parameters including Maximum Daily Flight Duty period, Maximum Daily Flight Time, Weekly/Monthly/Annually Limitation of Flying Hours, Rest Period, SOD (Staff on Duty) Travel or Positioning or Dead Heading and Number of Landings.
The decision taken by the Minister is also in line with the Dharmadhikari Committee Report on Air India which had strongly recommended that the pilots have to abide by their licensing conditions and also aviation rules in the matter of actual flying hours and the lay-off period particularly with reference to mandatory Flight Duty Time Limitations (FDTL) and Flying Time Limitation (FTL) regulations.
The details of FDTL as prescribed under the CAR and presently followed by Air India pilots and crew members are given in Annexure 1 and Annexure 2.
Due to the above constraints the average utilization of pilots in Air India was limited. The direction to Air India to follow the DGCA/ CAR guidelines on FDTL will lead to optimum utilization of its pilots and crew members and will reduce the requirements of pilots and cabin crew for a given number of aircrafts and will be able to spare significant number of pilots/ cabin crew members for additional aircrafts which the Air India is going to acquire upto 2015.