New Delhi, Mar 31: In a shocking development, the government appointed a suspended pilot, Arvind Kathpalia, Director Operation of Air India. According to reports, Arvind Kathpalia was promoted and appointed to a Director-level post in the government-controlled Air India on March 30. The Air India pilot association took strong objection over the appointment of Arvind Kathpalia and wrote a letter to the government in this matter.
As per the order released by the government, the Appointments Committee of Cabinet on Thursday approved the appointment of Arvind Kathpalia to the post of Director (Operations) in Air India Ltd (AIL) for a period of five years. Arvind Kathpalia, who is at present Executive Director in AIL, drew attention after his flying licence was suspended by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Kathpalia failed breath analyser test. The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) had demanded that Kathpalia should not continue as Executive Director (operations) at Air India.
The DGCA last month suspended Arvind Kathpalia’s flying licence for three months after he had skipped compulsory pre-flight medical test on several occasions. According to an inquiry report, Kathpalia had said that he had driven straight to the aircraft after attending a meeting with officials of the civil aviation regulator as the flight was getting late. However, it is mandatory for the pilots to undertake the breath analyser test to ensure that they are not drunk before entering the cockpits.