Airline major SpiceJet has decided not to have a "permanent 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 different destinations. In an email to its copilots on Friday, SpiceJet's Training Captain Devender Sangwan stated, "Considering the need of the hour and after much internal deliberation, the higher management has come to the decision that effective today there will be no permanent base for the copilots."
He added that the bases may be altered, as per the requirements of day-to-day operations, with prior notification. Sangwan said the airline remains "open to any alterations in this policy that may bring about any improvements to our operations and crew utilisation," according to the email seen by PTI. The airline did not respond to PTI's request for any comment.
On November 1 last year, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) put an end to its rule which made it compulsory to have one "home base" or "permanent base" for pilots. "Airlines generally 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 condition of anonymity.
"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 domestic pilot bodies of Air India and Jet Airways had opposed the DGCA's November 1 norms - which go into detail and set new rules regarding duty and rest hours for the flight crew.
In November itself, the domestic pilot bodies termed the DGCA's new norms "downright dangerous" and "regressive".
"This CAR (Civil Aviation Requirement) draft on FDTL (Flight Duty Time Limitations), however, reads like a tailor-made tool created for airline owners to enable them to flog their pilots even more, in order to cut costs and generate profits at the cost of safety," the unions had added.Budget 2019 prediction: Farmer, middle class, small businesses to get big bonanza!