AI makes it mandatory for crew to check if their pre-flight coronavirus test results are negative

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: May 31, 2020, 05:24 PM(IST)

Air India flight Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

This comes in the wake of an Air India flight from Delhi to Moscow with no passenger on-board being asked to return midway on Saturday after its ground staff realised that one of the pilots of the plane had tested positive for coronavirus but was assigned the duty following an oversight by a team checking pre-flight medical reports of the crew.

Air India has made it mandatory for its pilots and cabin crew members to check and confirm that their pre-flight COVID-19 test results are negative before they operate an aircraft.

This comes in the wake of an Air India flight from Delhi to Moscow with no passenger on-board being asked to return midway on Saturday after its ground staff realised that one of the pilots of the plane had tested positive for coronavirus but was assigned the duty following an oversight by a team checking pre-flight medical reports of the crew.

The Executive Director (Operations), Air India in a circular, which was accessed by PTI said there was a possibility of an oversight due to a shortage of staff in office.

However, it is imperative that the individual crew member also checks and reconfirms his or her test result, the circular said.

Any laxity in this matter will be dealt with severity, it added.

THE INCIDENT

The Airbus A320 plane departed around 7.15 am on Saturday for Moscow to bring back a group of stranded Indians under the Vande Bharat evacuation mission and it was back in Delhi by 12.30 pm following orders from the authorities.

The airline officials, it is speculated, tasked to examine medical reports of the crew did not look at the pilot's test results properly before assigning him the duty.

According to standard operating procedure, pilots and other crew members of any flight are required to undergo mandatory testing for coronavirus and are assigned duties if the laboratory results are negative.

The plane with registration number VT-EXR was in the airspace of Uzbekistan when it was told to return. All crew members including the Delhi-based pilot with coronavirus infection have been quarantined after they arrived in Delhi, the officials said,

In a statement, Air India had said on Saturday that it recalled the aircraft immediately when it was noticed that one of the cockpit crew had tested positive in the pre-flight COVID-19 test.

Aviation regulator DGCA has already begun an investigation into the case based on a preliminary report by the airline.

(with inputs from PTI)


 

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