Drunk pilots fuel alarm in Japan
Japan’s transport ministry is urging its domestic airlines to curb alcohol abuse by crews after a pilot was detained in London with a blood-alcohol reading that was more than 10 times the legal limit. The JAL pilot was held by British police at Heathrow Airport before boarding a flight after a test showed 0.93 milligrams of alcohol per litre of breath, the Jiji news agency said. He had reportedly drunk two bottles of wine and roughly two litres of beer at a hotel the day before. Regulators in Tokyo are under pressure to ensure airlines comply with drinking rules after several similar cases involving Japanese airline pilots. Such incidents “cause delays (to flights) and bother passengers,” a ministry official said. Last month, a pilot with ANA Wings Co. called in sick after drinking beer and whisky at a restaurant the day before he was due to fly, leading to several flight delays. In all, Japanese airlines reported 15 cases of flight delays traced to booze consumption by pilots in fiscal 2017, and six so far in fiscal 2018, the ministry said.
Japanese regulators are under pressure to ensure its airlines — including Japan Airlines (JAL) — are complying with new drinking rules following a series of alcohol abuse incidents.