DGCA issues restriction on entry into plane’s cockpit

New Delhi: India’s civil aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday issued an order restricting the entry of people into ‘an aircraft’s cockpit during the flight time.’

In the new order, the DGCA said that “no person shall enter the cockpit and occupy the jump seat” during flight time unless they are crew members or “an officer of the Civil Aviation Department of India Meteorological Department, authorized by the DGCA to perform official duties”.

The regulator said that the decision was taken for “the purpose of security of aircraft operations”.

The regulator has allowed off-duty pilots to travel in the cockpit.
In July, an off-duty Air India pilot, who tried to fly to Bengaluru as an additional crew member as the plane was full, was grounded after being failing the breath analyser test for alcohol. Following the incident, the DGCA had barred airline officials, including pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers, from travelling in the cockpit if they are off-duty or on leave.

The regulator said that the airline officials, who have been deputed for familiarization of flight for better practical understanding of cockpit instruments, can travel in the jump seat on approval of pilot-in-command (PIC).

A duly authorized representative of the manufacturer of the aircraft, who is required to observe the techniques used by the pilots and monitor the instruments provided prior permission of the PIC has been obtained for such can enter the cockpit, the order said.

It also said that the employee of the airline, or a flight crew member, whose presence will help in ensuring the aircraft safety, can also travel in cockpit’s jump seat with the approval of PIC.