Pilots, booze, sleep
Re Blame Unions For Our Drunk Pilot Problem (Jan. 10): The accusation that labour is responsible for intoxicated pilots is shortsighted and misleading. A recent incident involving a Sunwing Airlines pilot is not an example of a “problem,” but an example of how the complex system of multilayered checks and balances that are a key component of the aviation safety structure worked successfully. In this instance, the pilot was reported by the first officer, per standard protocol, and removed from the flight before he jeopardized safety.
North America has one of the safest aviation systems in the world. Our entire structure thrives on redundancy and works to eliminate potential risks before they occur. Canada’s aviation unions have been vital in continuing to enhance safety in multiple ways, including pilot health. – Dan Adamus, Canada Board president, Air Line Pilots Association International
Fatigue has the same effects as alcohol impairment: The image of pilots on Atlantic crossings “hanging from the straps” and struggling to stay awake as the sun rises over the Outer Hebrides is the one that scares the real aviation experts. Let’s skip the witch hunt and recognize the true bogeyman in aviation: fatigue.
Why is Canada still ranked at the bottom globally in regard to flight and duty time limitations?
It’s time we woke up. – Kris Elliott, airline pilot, Squamish, B.C.