Flying while intoxicated is a serious and highly dangerous offence, and pilots flying out of Singapore will soon face tougher measures put in place to ensure this doesn’t happen here.
On Thursday (March 28), the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) announced that random alcohol testing will soon be implemented at Singapore’s two airports in Changi and Seletar.
Under the Airport Alcohol Testing Programme (AATP), pilots who are found to have more than 0.02 grams of alcohol per 210 litres of breath will not be allowed to fly, CAAS said.
According to The Straits Times, this gives an allowance for the potential presence of alcohol due to other factors such as medication or mouthwash.
Pilots who flout the rules can also be fined up to S$50,000 and can be jailed for up to two years.
Repeat offenders could face penalties of up to S$100,000 and may be sentenced to five years in jail.
Last year, a Singapore Airlines pilot caused a flight to be cancelled after failing an alcohol test in Melbourne. He was later fired by the company.
In addition to the new tests, Singapore Air Operator Certificate holders will now be required to strengthen their alcohol abstention policies.
Starting from May 1, Singapore Air Operator Certificate Holders will be required to implement an Airline Alcohol Management Programme (AAMP) to proactively identify, manage and rehabilitate pilots with problematic use of alcohol.
Singapore Airlines and Jetstar Asia currently require their pilots to abstain from alcohol 10 hours before flying.
The AAMP must include components such as a comprehensive peer and self-reporting system, as well as an alcohol rehabilitation programme for pilots that address the root causes of problems, rehabilitate the pilot and prevent recurrence, said CAAS.
CAAS added that the enhancements to the regulatory regime have been developed following a comprehensive review and consultations with the aviation community and will also be complemented with other actions by airlines, pilot associations and unions.