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Japan to make alcohol tests mandatory for pilots

27 Comments
By Kazuhiro Nogi

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© 2018 AFP

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27 Comments
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It is about time... now if they could require that the tests be conducted by a third party...

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Barn door closing after all the horses left! BUT better late than never!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I’m glad a massive good has come out of all this. Quite a rare positive occurance, and we can all fly safer.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It really saddens me that people in these kinds of professions need to be babysat. Why can't people just have a sense of responsibility and do what is right. And of course airlines will not be paying for these checks, we the travelers will. I guess you can say it is better to pay from the pocket than from life.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Very good news for those of us hoping to visit Japan sometime in 2019. Especially good news for those of us planning to fly JAL.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Woah now.... Stop the presses. Is common sense creeping its way into Japanese society? I guess not if its taken nearly 100 years of commercial flight to enact this as a law.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Under Japan's current system, while plane crew members are banned from drinking within eight hours of working, there is no legal limit set and breath tests are not required.

What kind of senseless system is that? It's not a mystery why pilots are smashed, why not! no limit, breath tests not required. It took a pilot being charged overseas to change this. And he wasn't caught by the company but by a bus driver. Still along way to go Japan along way.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Cabin crew should not need policing, of course. Unfortunately, Jitsukawa is a moron who has just gone and made life harder for the vast majority of diligence aircrew in Japan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

are you telling me that alcohol test for pilots is NOT mandatory?? smh...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Very good news for those of us hoping to visit Japan sometime in 2019. Especially good news for those of us planning to fly JAL.

I'm flying out tomorrow on ANA to Vancouver.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm flying out tomorrow on ANA to Vancouver.

Have a couple of drinks before you go. Maybe a couple more when you're up in the air. It'll calm you down. You never know, the pilot might even join you. :)

Seriously, have a good, safe trip.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

are you telling me that alcohol test for pilots is NOT mandatory?? smh...

Most of pilots aware that if they're still caught intoxicated while they have flight it will ruin their career.

Unless you not aware in cockpit there always two people, pilot and co-pilot, even if one of them is drunk other guy would notice that and notified. Their cockpit peers will refuse intoxicated pilot in the first place.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

"The move comes after a Japan Airlines co-pilot was arrested in Britain last month shortly before a flight for being almost 10 times over the legal blood alcohol limit"

That co-pilot, Katsutoshi Jitsukawa, wasn't just "arrested", he was found guilty and sentenced to 10 months in a British prison.

Wouldn't that be nice if such punishments were handed out over here? I feel pretty sure that even Japanese pilots would take heed if the knew they were going to be punished in any way more serious than a mere slap on the wrist.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Drinking and driving is bad enough but drinking and flying? That's an entirely new level of danger in itself. I'm surprised that they would allow people to operate a hundred or so - ton hunk of steel to fly through the air, with hundreds of passengers aboard, while the pilot is drunk.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In the case of the arrested pilot his colleagues were either covering for him or are so stupid they shouldn't be flying either, remember their bus driver raised the alarm. They cover for each other of course.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

BigYen

I'm flying out tomorrow on ANA to Vancouver.

Have a couple of drinks before you go.

Always do! Usually more than a couple!

Maybe a couple more when you're up in the air.

Always do!

It'll calm you down. You never know, the pilot might even join you.

We'll be hugging and screaming Kampai!!!!!!

Seriously, have a good, safe trip.

Thanks brother! Looking forward to it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The JAL co-pilot cleared an in-house breath test but aroused the suspicion of a bus driver taking him to the plane at Heathrow Airport.

London police said a test on the co-pilot taken 50 minutes before the flight's scheduled departure revealed he was nearly 10 times over the limit.

"We are certain (the in-house breath test) wasn't conducted properly," JAL communications chief Muneaki Kitahara told reporters at the time.

But how is requiring a breath test going to stop this kind of situation from happening, I wonder? He had "taken and cleared" a breath test somehow before getting caught.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

im pretty sure the airline would rather not explain how he passed their Inhouse test! It might cause confusion.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Nomihodai before and auto pilot

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wow! Welcome to the 21st century Japan! Now, lets see them extend it to cover every commercial driver including trains, trucks and taxis.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Flying on Finnair tomorrow.Will the pilots get el blottoed tonight??

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The "in house test" consisted of his buddy asking him "You 'kay?", to which he replied "I'm not so think as you drunk I am."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

ummmm, it wasn't before? Good ole Japan, always making changes AFTER the fact, never anticipating what might happen.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Well, duh!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So where are they going to get pilots? Flights will be less.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@sakurasuki

I don't think you are correct. Often people don't see that kind of reporting as "part of heir job description"...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you can't live without the bottle, don't have a job in which you are in charge of the safety of thousands of people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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