The country’s aviation safety regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has suspended the chief pilot of Taj Air, the non-scheduled airline that flies Tata Group Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata and chairman Cyrus Mistry, for forging the signatures of the company doctor in his pre-flight breath analyser examination records.
The chief pilot, the co-pilot and a cabin crew were suspended for three months during a DGCA surveillance to probe the airworthiness of aircraft and compliance of non-scheduled operators (NSOPs) with laid-down safety norms last week.
A senior official with DGCA said: “The chief pilot was suspended for three months after he was found fudging medical records of crew and pilots. The chief pilot used to put doctor’s signature on breath analyser examination papers.”
Taj Air, a Tata Group subsidiary company, operates a fleet of two Falcon 2000 and one Piaggio P180 aircraft. The suspended the pilot who flew the Falcon aircraft.
“We are in the process of issuing a show-cause notice to the accountable manager,” added the official.
As per laid-down norms, air transport operators are required to have a qualified medical personnel on their rolls and conduct pre-flight breath analyser checks at a designated place within the airport premises.
This incident was detected in audits conducted by the DGCA at the Delhi and the Mumbai airports.
“The safety of our passengers is of paramount importance. We are currently investigating the matter and will continue to cooperate with the DGCA. We take such matters very seriously and appropriate action will be taken in case of any non-compliance,” said a Taj Air spokesperson.