New Delhi: A day after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) suspended his licence for three years , Air India’s Director of Operations, Arvind Kathpalia was removed from his post on Tuesday. Notably, the action comes hours after the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA) had demanded Kathpalia’s immediate termination from the national carrier’s board calling him a ‘repeated offender’ who endangers passengers lives. Also Read - International Flights: Air India Announces Additional Flights to London From January 1, Booking Begins | Details Here
In a letter to the Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu, the ICPA said Kathpalia continuing in the top post was “demoralising” for the cadres. Referring to Kathpalia failing the BA test on November 11, the ICPA said he endangered the lives of innocent passengers. Also Read - International Flights: Hong Kong Bans Air India & Vistara Flights From Oct 17-30 For Bringing COVID-19 Positive Passengers
“The flight was delayed and the passengers were left stranded. Kindly note this is a repeat offence. The said incident resulted in extremely bad publicity to the national carrier. He has repeatedly tarnished the image of Air India and we request his immediate termination from the board,” the ICPA said in the letter sent on Monday signed by T Praveen Keerthi, general secretary. The ICPA said it does not want officials with dubious track records heading operations. Also Read - Delhi Police Busts Fake Job Racket That Duped People in The Name of Air India & Amassed Lakhs , 3 Arrested
On Sunday, Kathpalia was grounded after he tested positive in the Breath Analyser (BA) and was hence declared ‘not fit to fly’. He was scheduled to fly flight AI-111 from Delhi to London.
This was not the first time Kathpalia failed the BA test. Earlier in 2017, he skipped the breath analyser test before a flight following which his licence was suspended for three months by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).