DGCA gets stricter with isolation norms for air crew

Taking more precautions to fight Covid-19 pandemic, aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has come up with specific rules for Covid-positive air crew with no symptoms or crew who are mildly and highly symptomatic.

While DGCA has reduced the isolation period for positive air crew with no symptoms from 14 to 10 days, highly symptomatic crew will be examined by DGCA after complete clinical recovery and will have to undergo special medical examination at one of the Indian Air Force (IAF) boarding centres, with a cure certificate.

In its last circular issued on June 22, DGCA, without getting into details, had stated that risk assessment for crew will be done by respective airline doctors and testing of the crew will be done by individual airline doctors who will decide on the isolation period required for each crew member.

In the circular dated December 18, DGCA stated asymptomatic pilots will undergo home isolation for 10 days, and on completion of this period, the crew can be declared fit for unrestricted flying, provided their clinical parameters are normal.

In case of positive mildly symptomatic air crew, the period will be extended by three more days. These crew members will be discharged only if they do not have fever for the three days after the initial 10 days since the onset of symptoms.

However, the ones in isolation for more than 14 days will be examined by DGCA-empanelled class-1 examiner who will provide a cure certificate. They will also require opinion of a specialist concerned. Once such crew are declared fit to fly by the examiner, they will be allowed to fly again..

Positive moderately/ severely symptomatic air crew will have to undergo special medical examination at one of the IAF boarding centres and will require a cure certificate.

The circular read, “Such pilots can be considered for unrestricted flying provided their clinical examination and laboratory investigations reveal no finding that can cause a functional deficit. Once declared ‘fit for flying’ at the IAF boarding centre, the air crew can commence flying only after DGCA medical assessment is issued.”

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