Weird: Indian aviation regulator considering banning use of perfumes and mouthwash for pilots

While Indian aviation is primarily a safe operation, occasionally, you will hear things that make you chuckle out loud. One of these concerns is the latest proposal that the Indian civil aviation regulator, DGCA, is considering.

DGCA proposes a ban on mouthwash and perfume for pilots

Aviation safety is built on the back of experience and many safeguards built into the system, which is why it is one of the safest modes of transport. Consumption of alcohol cannot be done before operating flights, and this is checked with a Breath Analyser Test for pilots before they start their day in the cockpit. There is zero tolerance for alcohol in the cockpit.

For all airlines operating scheduled, charter, and non-scheduled flights originating from India, each flight crew member and cabin crew member shall be subject to a pre-flight breath-analyzer examination at the first departure airport during a flight duty period.

Now, the DGCA is proposing a ban on the use of items such as perfume, tooth gel, and mouthwash with alcoholic content.

The draft civil aviation requirement, which could become a guideline, reads,
No crew member shall consume any drug/formulation or use any substance such as mouthwash/tooth gel/perfume or any such product which has alcoholic content. This may result into positive breath analyser test. Any crew member who is undergoing such medication shall consult the company doctor before undertaking flying assignment.

The regulator has invited comments on the draft rules by 5 October.

The reasoning is that these could cause a false positive on the breath analyser test. It happened in one case, and instead of using rationality to clear the teetotaller pilot, they chose to write a rule where no one should use perfume altogether.

a screenshot of a black and white text


The DGCA is making up its mind on writing a rule which might prohibit pilots from using personal hygiene stuff such as aftershave, perfumes and mouthwash to ensure that there are no false positives on a breath analyser test for the pilots, and has invited public comments on this.

What do you make of the DGCA’s intentions vs. actions?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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