Underlining that there was no empirical study done to conclude that it was not safe for persons above 65 years of age to fly aircraft,Delhi High Court has suspended a central government rule prohibiting such pilot licence holders from engaging in flying private aircraft on non-commercial basis.
A Bench headed by Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri put in abeyance the impugned 2011 Aircraft Rule,which stated that the holders of the Airline Transport Pilot Licences (ATPL),on the attainment of the age of 65 years,shall not undertake non-commercial flight operations for remuneration.
Allowing a petition by a group of pilots led by Wing Commander (retd) V A Joshi,the Bench held that the decision-making lacked cogent materials and also did not show application of mind before imposing the prohibition.
Petitioners counsel Sanjeev Narula also appears to be right in his submission that no empirical study is undertaken on this aspect,namely,it may not be safe to permit a pilot above the age of 65 years to fly a non-commercial aircraft. The matter is not examined from this angle at all, the Bench noted.