Singapore, March 28 (IANS) The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) announced here on Thursday that it would tighten the regulatory regime on alcohol abstention to mitigate the risk of pilots operating under the influence of liquor.
According to CAAS, the authority will implement the Airport Alcohol Testing Programme (AATP) and start random testing of pilots at Changi and Seletar airports on March 31, the Xinhua news agency reported.
It will set the alcohol abstinence standard at 0.02 grams per 210 liters of breath for pilots. Those found to exceed the standard would not be permitted to fly, it said.
Pilots found to be operating under the influence of alcohol may be subjected to criminal penalties of up to 50,000 Singapore dollars (about $36,878.5) and/or imprisonment of up to two years for the first offence, and up to 100,000 Singapore dollars and/or imprisonment of up to five years for repeat offenders.
The Singapore Air Operator Certificate holders will be required to strengthen their alcohol abstention policies and implement an Airline Alcohol Management Programme from May to identify, manage and rehabilitate pilots with problematic use of alcohol, the release said.
Kevin Shum, Director General of CAAS, said: “The safety of aircraft operations, passengers and crew on board is paramount and the CAAS and the aviation community take a serious view of pilots operating under the influence of alcohol.”
“The new alcohol testing and management programmes will help ensure that pilots’ ability to operate aircraft is not impaired by alcohol,” he said.