THE DELHI High Court Thursday allowed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to resume breath analyser tests for Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) after the court was told that the machine used for the test will not be used again for a minimum of 12 hours.
On March 23, the High Court had ordered the suspension of the breath analyser test at all airports on the basis of a petition by the Air Traffic Controllers Guild, which said that the equipment could result in spread of Covid-19.
The DGCA told the court the test would be conducted in a random manner and instead of conducting it on 10 percent of the ATCs, the same would be reduced to 2 percent. However, the court had ordered the DGCA, Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Ministry of Civil Aviation to come up with an alternative protocol and in the meantime permitted it to conduct any other testing which was not invasive in nature.
On Thursday, the DGCA told the court that no form of testing for ATCs has taken place since March due to the stay order and that the same can be a safety issue. The court was told that the DGCA and AAI representatives in their deliberations have concluded that the breath analyser test is the most efficient form of detecting alcohol on the breath of a person, and other methods like testing of blood and urine are not considered practical.
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