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Japan to set up panel to tighten drinking rules after pilot scandals

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I got one for you geniuses!

If you fly tomorrow, you do not drink tonight!

How about that?

8 ( +13 / -5 )

The recent trend in youngers such as 20s have left drinking.

It’s not bad that all Pilots van alcohol as occupation.

Citizens will feel relieved, although there is a risk of lack of pilots...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If you fly tomorrow, you do not drink tonight! How about that?

Exactly. Add in compulsory breath testing for all pilots before the flight, and you've got yourself a much safer system.

How about that?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I'm actually a bit shocked to learn that

there is no law or regulation that sets a legal limit for alcohol consumption.

Breath tests are not required. Airlines have their own rules and voluntarily carry them out

That's an appalling breach of safety.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Another "Expert" panel? Mandatory breath tests! Follow European, American rules. But will have to wait months for the expert panel to make a complicated recommendation to justify their months of meetings. It's an easy fix. I had no idea their were experts in pilot drinking?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

There should be a ban on alcohol for the period that the Pilot is rostered on duty. Alcoholism is an insidious problem and with the amount that this Pilot was reported to have drunk it could be that he has a binge drinking problem.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Another pointless panel. Why do they need a panel to do a lot of teeth sucking for an obvious solution? Just make breath testing of pilots and staff mandatory and be done with it. Australia does random alcohol and drug testing on all commercial pilots and drivers. Train drivers are tested before every shift. Just do it and stop wasting time and money!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The panel is set to hold its first meeting in mid-November to consider mandating alcohol checks for aviation staff and establishing limits on alcohol concentration levels in their system

So, let me get this straight... you can legally fly a plane in Japan while under he influence of alcohol. This is absolutely astounding considering Japan has some of the most draconian drink-drive laws on the planet.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Maria - Exactly!

When this surfaced, I couldn't believe that there were no legal limits on consumption AND that the woefully inadequate pre-flight testing was self regulated. I mean wt...! I actually thought the press made a mistake and that all will be revealed in the coming days. But No!

Japan - a country famed for it's to the nth degree bureaucratic fine pointing, - eg alcohol and driving - has such lax rules concerning pilots with the lives of 100s under their control.

I'm hoping not, but there is a possibility that there exists an underlying substance abuse(alcohol...) problem with airline staff incl pilots. A full investigation may reveal intolerable workplace practices and schedules impacting the mental / physical health of air-industry workers.

Or these guys are just rare mavericks and alls Okey Dokey now.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Just do it and stop wasting time and money!

Well, this is Japan, as expected. Devising a solution without doing a complicated bureaucracy headed by "expert" panel is impossibru.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Unlike driving a car drunk, the copilot might have thought drunk piloting in a wide air space does not cause serious problem.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Unlike driving a car drunk, the copilot might have thought drunk piloting in a wide air space does not cause serious problem.

Please, God. Tell me this is not a serious comment.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Just apply the same rules as they do for drivers to pilots. Simple.

According to JAL, the 42-year-old co-pilot Katsutoshi Jitsukawa drank two bottles of wine and more than 1.8 liters of beer over six hours from 6 p.m., the night before the flight

I don't believe this. The co-pilot must also have been drinking on the day of the flight to be so far over the limit when he was tested at 6 pm.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Pilots strutting their stuff like that was dealt with decades ago in most western countries. In Canada its 12 hours bottle to throttle for pilots. This seems like not an isolated incident...they should be shamed publicly for such disregard for other people and lose their pilots licence and drivers licence for the rest of their life. They do not deserve the privilege of driving a car let alone a 350,000 kg aircraft with hundreds of people on board.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't think a pre-flight 24 hour drinking ban is really necessary. 12 hours is enough. Just give them a breathalyzer test before flights and set it for a reasonable limit.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Me thinks if the "drinking regulations" were not "tight" before then the plot has been lost. But shoganai ne.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Expert panel huh?

So what will they propose, a smartphone app that will check to see if a pilot is sober enough to fly,an in the cockpit preflight breathalyzer or a fine like they impose on drivers which has really been working:-/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I guess piloting an airliner in a wider air space may be a boring job. They are flying straight most of the time without need of paying much attention to other airplanes - machines and computers are helping them a lot. It is a lot easier than driving a car which turns corners often and changing the speed as well paying attention to other cars and people in a congested road. Airline pilots are easy job except at the time of landing on and off the runways.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Perhaps so....but it sounds like they need to work on enforcing the laws they have already first! The JAL incident is baffling to me as using any metrics available this guy should have failed the mandatory breath test which he should have failed based on existing practice!

I think they should start with the root cause of why this guy "passed" this test, drill down on that problem and fix it and then go from there. Were the other 2 pilots complicate in this? If so they need to go and it needs to be made well known that aiding and abetting this behavior will not be tolerated. It seems the other 2 would have had to known this guy was drinking if the bus driver caught it.

After all of these issues are dealt with then go from there.

The ANA guy screwed up but made the right call by calling in "sick". The pilot's union will probably be able to salvage the ANA pilot but the JAL pilot is done.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I question, why wait till things happen? Luckily nothing yet has happened. I would be willing to bet that the alcoholism rate among pilots is much higher than is being told. Only these few have been caught. We’re lucky planes can function to a high degree without these sots..sorry. Should there be an emergency what excuse can the airlines give?

Pray..and tighten regulations.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Planes are flown by wire, not by pilots, who are only there for takeoff, landing and emergencies.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hers's a simple fix! Once the uniform is on, no alcohol. Or at the start of the shift, breath test and if you fail, they dock your pay by half.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Regardless of airline, governments should regulate at each airport the condition of pilots. They check airplanes, why not pilots and staff. Aren’t there IATA regulations each pilot must follow, regardless of airline? Why do I feel there are more alcohol / drug abuse problems than we are led to believe?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why would someone who is responsible for hundreds of lives want to risk being caught drunk?

Their licence revoked and a spell in the big house for these bozos.

It's costing me 170,000 yen to return home this Christmas. Getting more expensive and the flight / connection times longer. Surely the least I can expect are sober pilots and aircrew?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese Pilot : Hi, I am calling in for sickness. Can't pilot today...

Company : Too bad. Could you tell us about your problem ?

Japanese Pilot : I need absolutely to tell you that's not because of a cold or flu but because of my heavy drinking of 2 whiskey bottles just hours before. I was able with one last time but you know now I care a lot about passengers...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I got one for you geniuses!

why do you need a F panel, it's blatantly obvious, have compulsory breath testing, if any pilot is caught with alcohol in their system they're either suspended or fired, pretty F simple really. When other peoples lives are on the line there should be a ZERO tolerance policy for pilots when it comes to alcohol and drugs. No a pilots job security doesnt trump peoples safety.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Drinking the night before and driving a car, bye bye liecence. Same as planes. But you can be pi::ed as a fart and use a jet ski or boat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Many years ago, one night, I met a pilot in a bar in HK. He was steadily drinking. However he did tell me that is flight was the day after tomorrow, and that tomorrow he would not be drinking.

As he said to me, it is common sense.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Final comment. These pilots will not be taken off rosters, just transferred, given different routs. There’s a shortage of pilots. Airlines are in heavy cutthroat competition, Japanese airlines make good money. We’re stuck with these pilots. God Bless the passengers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

On TV the other day the spokesman for ANA was explaining about in-house breathalyzing. In his hand he was waving around a sort of microphone, the kind that they used to use in Japan for drivers. You are supposed to blow into it from a close distance, but no need to actually touch it, and you can sort of breathe to one side.

The ones I have seen in the West have a dedicated disposable straw to which you must apply your lips. No breath is able to escape.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And what of the airline in-house training?

Surely some fault there?

Perhaps we'll see a token bow and scrape. So that's all right then. Move along.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Another friggin panel, what idiots!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is other accountability with coworkers here as well. Someone who hasn't drank for a day or so could smell his breath from 10 paces....don't sweep in under the carpet and gossip about the jerk. You have the right to remove him from his position.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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