Airline pilots accuse DGCA official of harassment, seek action
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New Delhi: Pilots representing major Indian airlines including Jet Airways Ltd and Air India Ltd have come together to seek action against an official at Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), accusing him of harassment.
In a letter to aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, the prime minister’s office (PMO) and the DGCA the pilots sought action against the regulator’s official Lalit Gupta.
“The majority of pilots across all air transport undertakings in India have now united to oppose the regulator’s reign of tyranny and harassment once and for all. The honourable PM has banished the use of red beacons on cars and abolished the VIP culture but for how long will this arrogant mindset last amongst public servants like Mr Gupta? The level of anguish and frustration today amongst pilots has reached a crescendo and we sincerely hope that there is no spontaneous nationwide uprising as a reaction of the continuous oppression,” the Indian Pilots Guild, Indian Commercial Pilot Association and National Aviatiors Guild said in the letter dated 7 June.
Between them the groupings have about 3,000 pilot members.
The genesis of the issue is a a proposed rule that will force pilots to give their existing airline a year’s notice before they join another airline. The current notice is six months.
The pilots are opposed to this.
When they sent their feedback to Gupta, some of the pilots got his designation wrong. A touchy Gupta complained to the airlines and also demanded an apology.
The pilots lashed out at Gupta in a private WhatsApp group, but someone leaked the messages. DGCA then complained to the Delhi Police claiming the messages were “objectionable”. In all, 34 pilots were taken off the flight roster by their airlines at DGCA’s request.
Gupta said the orders have not been issued by him but as per the directive of the civil aviation ministry.