Pilots fail 'breathalyser test' in India

Pilots fail 'breathalyser test' in India

More than 50 airline pilots in India have been found to have excessive alcohol levels prior to taking the cockpit controls in the past two years.

The 57 flight crew were caught in random blood tests conducted between January 2009 and November 2010, India's aviation minister Vayalar Ravi told the country's parliament.

The pilots, employed by some of India's most-popular airlines, were all found to have excessive alcohol levels but only 11 were dismissed. Some were suspended for three months while others were fined or received warning letters.

The disclosure was reported by the Daily Telegraph which suggested it raised questions over safety procedures in India. The revelation follows a recent scandal over a number of unqualified pilots working on fake licences in India.

Police arrested a man this week for obtaining commercial flying licences with forged mark sheets. So far police have arrested 13 pilots, three civil aviation officials and two forgers in connection with a fake licence racket.

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