Udayavni Special

HC allows breath analyser test through tube process on air traffic controllers


PTI, Sep 3, 2020, 1:15 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Thursday allowed a breath analyser test through tube process for air traffic controllers (ATC) that was earlier suspended in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The high court modified its March 23 interim order suspending breath analyser tests (BAT) through tube process for ATCs, saying the DGCA will be bound by the June 16 recommendations of the medical board.

Justice Navin Chawla allowed the application of DGCA seeking modification of the earlier order and to implement the medical report of Directorate General of Medical Services (DGMS).

As per the DGMS medical board’s recommendation, one machine would be used per person and not used again for the next 12 hours.

The court said the interest of ATCs and passengers has to be balanced and noted that BAT is being presently conducted on pilots also in a restricted manner.

The application was filed in pending petition by the Air Traffic Controllers’ Guild (India), represented through Advocates Piyush Sanghi and Khushbu Sahu, seeking direction to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to temporarily suspend the BAT through the current tube process to prevent further spread of the virus.

The petitioner had said that on a random basis 10 per cent of the ATCs are subjected to the BAT, which uses equipment that could result in the spread of COVID-19.

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