Pilots’ union challenges AI flight duty revisions,issues legal notice

Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) has issued a legal notice to Air India management over the recent changes in their flight duty hours

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published: September 18, 2012 2:54 am

Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) has issued a legal notice to Air India management over the recent changes in their flight duty hours.

Last week,the civil aviation ministry had asked the airline to strictly implement the Flight Duty Time Limitations (FDTL) and as per the DGCA guidelines. This increased the flying hours of the pilots.

ICPA,union of 800 erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots who fly Airbus fleet,has sent a legal notice to Air India CMD Rohit Nandan saying that the decision is in violation of their bilateral agreements. The union contests that that even the Dharmadhikari Committee report has not suggested any change in the flying hours.

“You are aware that flight safety has been a primary concern of the national carrier and that’s why the FDTL norms for the ICPA have remained firmly within the maximum limits placed by the DGCA,” the ICPA notice said.

An ICPA member said that the union is ready to go on strike in case is not resolved. “We are ready to talk with the management,if invited,and our grievances are heard. If nothing comes out of talks,strike is one option that is always available with the union,” he said.

Maintaining that “great injustice is being meted out” to pilots,it said the FDTL norms were settled through agreements with the knowledge of both Air India and the government and therefore “no unilateral alteration is permissible”.

He added that the management cannot announce such norms unilaterally,as the agreement between us was bilateral and required the consent of both.

The FDTL norms has increased pilots’ flying hours from six and half hours to nine hours and the number of landings to five from three in 24 hours.

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