Airline major Spice Jet has determined not to have an "enduring base" for its copilots, the carrier said. This means that the airline would now decide when its copilots will come back to the city, in which they are based, after flying to a different destination. In an email to its copilots on Friday, Spice Jet's Training Captain Devender Sangwan confirmed, "Considering the need of the hour and after much interior consideration, the superior administration has come to the conclusion that useful today there will be no enduring base for the copilots."
He added that the basis may be distorted, as per the supplies of day-to-day operations, with prior announcement. Sangwan said the airline leftovers "open to any alteration in this policy that may bring about any improvement to our operations and crew utilization."
On November 1 last year, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) put an end to its rule which made it obligatory to have one "home base" or "permanent base" for pilots. "Airlines normally bring back the co-pilot back to the home base after one or two or three days. This had been the norm till date," said an aviation expert on the situation of secrecy.
"At the end of the day, pilots want to get back to their families. It keeps the stress level down among them. This is why this rule of "home base" was there in the DGCA rule book till November last year," he added.
The household pilot bodies of Air India and Jet Airways had opposite the DGCA's November 1 norms – which go into detail and set new rules concerning duty and rest hours for the flight crew.
In November itself, the domestic pilot bodies termed the DGCA's new norms "absolute unsafe" and "regressive".
"This CAR (Civil Aviation Requirement) draft on FDTL (Flight Duty Time Limitations), however, reads like a tailor-made tool formed for airline owner to allow them to flog their pilots even more, in order to cut costs and generate profits at the cost of safety," the unions had added.