SC pulls up DGCA for not starting flight duty rules

The Supreme Court on Monday sought an explanation from the Director General of Civil Aviation as to why contempt of court action be not initiated against the regulator for not efficaciously implementing the civil aviation regulations (CAR) with regard to flight duty time limitation (FDTL).

A Bench led by Justice P Sathasivam issued a notice to the top brass and granted three weeks' time for furnishing their response on a contempt plea by the Society for Welfare of Indian Pilots (SWIP). It, however, made it clear that no senior officer from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) was required to remain personally present at the moment.

Senior advocate KTS Tulsi, appearing for the SWIP, submitted that even though the court had passed an order on May 3, 2011, directing the DGCA to bring new CAR for FDTL for pilots to minimise flight fatigue, the regulator had been "very casual".

"We have sent several notices and reminders ever since but they chose to implement the regulations only selectively. It is most unfortunate that in a matter involving safety of millions of passengers, the attitude of the regulator has been so casual and partisan in favour of airline operators...," Tulsi argued.

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