DGCA files police complaint against 34 pilots for obscene WhatsApp messages
New Delhi: Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has filed complaints against a total of 34 pilots working at Jet Airways, IndiGo, GoAir and SpiceJet for using obscene language against DGCA officials on a private WhatsApp group.
“DGCA has filed complaint for making obscene remarks against DGCA officials on social media. Any action on that is for the police (to take),” DGCA chief BS Bhullar said in a text message
DGCA has framed new draft rules that will make it mandatory for airline captains to give a one-year notice before they can switch airlines. Pilots are against this rule.
An airline official who did not wished to be named said pilots were upset and discussing this notice period on a Whatsapp group. Some of these messages were in bad taste, he said.
Screenshots of these messages landed up in the DGCA. Pilots were then called to DGCA on Tuesday.
Senior management staffers from these four airlines were in attendance at the DGCA office as well.
“Unconditional apology has come from respective airline managements,” a DGCA spokesman said on Tuesday evening even as pilots were still being questioned at south Delhi police station.
Jet Airways said a “few of its cockpit crew were called to record their statements by local authorities in response to a complaint..the airline is extending its full cooperation to the authorities” it added.
SpiceJet said “no SpiceJet pilot has written any derogatory or obscene message against any DGCA official or made any comments on the draft DGCA CAR. One of our pilots had just forwarded some WhatsApp messages to a few friends and colleagues.”
IndiGo said it “was looking into the charges and extending cooperation to DGCA.”
GoAir did not respond to an email seeking comments.
An official of the Jet Airways pilot grouping National Aviator’s Guild (NAG) said late in the evening that the pilots have been allowed to leave after questioning.
“But this will not die down. We will be meeting tomorrow to take stock of the situation and decide on the next steps,” this official said, “We will take the legal course against this one-year notice period. This does not exist anywhere in the world. This harassment has to stop.”