DGCA issues new guidelines for pilots taking controlled breaks

New Delhi [India], Mar. 17 : After two airlines, Jet Airways and Air India, failed to make radio contact over European airspace, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday issued fresh guidelines stating that the speaker volume must be maintained at an appropriate level and not to be switched off or must be kept at a minimum level.

The DGCA has said that the headset shall not be worn by the non-resting crew while the other crew is in controlled rest "Before going into controlled rest the cockpit crew will inform the CCIC/cabin in-charge; After the first 20 minutes of controlled rest the non-resting pilot will establish contact with the CCIC/cabin in-charge.

In case no contact is established then the CCIC/cabin in-charge will establish contact with the cockpit crew," the official release stated.

It also stated that the emergency frequency of 121.5 megahertz (MHz) would always be monitored with volume at an appropriate level and not switched off or kept at minimum level.

"After the first 40 minutes the CCIC/cabin in-charge will establish contact with the non-resting pilot provided normal contact was established by the non-resting pilot after the first 20 minutes," it added.

The aviation regulator stated that all airlines would maintain a log for the controlled rest taken by the cockpit crew.

"DGCA will carry out random checks for the same. DGCA will also carry out random checks of CVF2 to ensure that the airlines are in compliance with the order," it stated.

The order came after a Jet Airways failed to establish contact with the Air Traffic Control (ATC) while flying over Gemrany, last month.

It was reported to have been caused by a pilot who was taking rest or sleeping, as it is allowed during long flights and another pilot, who was awake but had kept his headset volume very low.

Similarly, an Air India aircraft, flying from Ahmedabad to London, had to be escorted by fighter jets after it lost contact with the ATC while flying over Hungary.

Source: ANI