Japan Airlines tightens alcohol rules for pilots

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Tokyo, Nov 16 (IANS) Japan Airlines announced on Friday that it would introduce a new breathalyser system at overseas airports after one of its pilots was arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport for being drunk.

“The company takes this violation seriously, as safety remains our utmost priority, and sincerely apologises to all affected by the employee’s actions,” the Japanese flag carrier said in a statement.

Katsutoshi Jitsukawa was arrested last month after a test showed he was nine times over the legal alcohol limit, the BBC reported.

The new measures also come after some 12 Japan Airlines flights were delayed due to intoxicated pilots.

Since August 2017, there have been 19 cases where Japan Airlines pilots have failed the company’s alcohol tests, a spokesperson for the firm said.

Japanese law does not set limits for alcohol consumption by pilots. Instead, it is up to airlines to determine alcohol limits for pilots on duty.

The series of measures will include new breathalyser systems at overseas airports and introducing penalties “for flight crew violating the regulated alcohol concentration level”, the airline said.

The new systems were already in place at Heathrow and domestic airports in Japan, the spokesperson said.

They will be introduced at other airports from Sunday onwards.

Pilots will also be prohibited from consuming alcohol in the 24 hours prior to reporting for a flight from Japan, the firm said.

Other airlines have also had recent trouble with intoxicated pilots, the BBC said.

A British Airways pilot who turned up for work after drinking three double vodkas was jailed earlier this year.

–IANS

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