Japan introduces compulsory sobriety test for pilots

The government of Japan has prepared a draft resolution, which for the first time in the history of the country will introduce alcohol tests for civil aviation pilots. 

According to experts of the Ministry of State Lands, infrastructure, transport and tourism, the maximum allowable rate of alcohol will be considered 0.09 milligrams per liter of exhaled air. Tests of this kind are supposed to be mandatory, which was not the case before. In Japan, there is also still no officially established limit of alcohol for pilots. 

Currently, the country’s pilots are only forbidden to drink alcohol less than eight hours before the flight. However, compliance with this rule is not checked. 

The authorities decided to end this situation after the British authorities suspended the flight in late October, and then arrested the pilot of Japan Airlines, who was drunk. As a result, the airline liner made a flight from London to Tokyo with only two pilots, although according to the rules of Japan Airlines there should be three of them. 

After that, it turned out that the same Japan Airlines had suspended 19 of its pilots who had not passed random tests for alcohol from flights last August. Due to 12 such incidents, there were glitches in the departure schedule. The company never gave this information publicly, and passengers were informed that the flight was delayed due to the pilot’s poor health. 

The new system of mandatory tests is supposed to bring order to the industry. By the way, the Japanese legislation on road traffic prohibits driving if the alcohol content exceeds 0.15 milligrams per liter of exhaled air.

Tom Tompson

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