Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Two AirTransat pilots jailed for being drunk in cockpit

Picture 101379998 22/06/2016 at 11:22   Owner : PA  Marked as viewed
File photo dated 25/05/11 of passengers at Glasgow Airport
Image: PA

Two pilots were reportedly arrested and dragged out of the cockpit by police a few minutes before take off in Glasgow after passengers on an AirTransat flight reported that the two of them displayed abnormal behaviour on Monday.

Air Transat is a Canadian airline based in Montreal, Quebec, operating scheduled and charter flights, serving 60 destinations in 25 countries.

The two of them, both Canadians, were charged to court today. Captain Jean-Francois Perreault, aged 39, and Imran Zafar Syed, 37, were remanded in custody.

Jean-Francois Perreault
Captain Jean-Francois Perreault (LinkedIn)

They were arrested at the airport on Monday on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol.

That's something! What if an error happened in the air?

The flight was due to take off on Monday from Glasgow to Toronto and contained 250 people on board. Air Transat apologised to those customers affected and offered passengers compensation of 200 Canadian dollars off their next flight as a "goodwill gesture".

In a letter it said: "Please accept our sincere apologies for the disruption caused by the delay of your flight. While it is our policy to do everything within our power to ensure on-time performance, regrettably, this is not always the possible."

The delayed flight took off from Glasgow just after 10:30 on Tuesday.

The pilots will remain in Scottish jail after being remanded in custody during a private hearing at Paisley Sheriff Court—near the Glasgow airport—on Tuesday and will appear again within eight days, Crown office spokesman Kevin Bell said in an emailed statement, the Star, reports.

What  the law says:

The pilots were arrested under section 93 of the the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003
It focuses on the limit of any alcohol consumption and says it is an offence to perform or prepare to perform certain aviation-related functions with more than a prescribed level of alcohol in the body.
That limit is set at 20 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood for those activities carried out by aircrew and air traffic controllers. In the case of breath, nine microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres are allowed and in urine the limit is 27 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres.