JAL Sets 24-Hour Booze Ban For Pilots

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Japan Airlines has tightened its rules regarding alcohol consumption by employees in the wake of series of incidents that have caused flight delays and led to the arrest of one pilot. Pilots are now banned from any alcohol consumption within 24 hours of flying a company plane and the airline is also extending its mandatory random breathalyzer tests to some ground crew members. Most airlines have a 12-hour pre-flight alcohol ban and most governments mandate eight hours. Last year the airline began using more modern breathalyzers and there was an immediate spike in flight disqualifications with more than limit of .02 percent alcohol in their blood. According to CNN, at least 19 pilots have tested positive since August of 2017, resulting in 12 flight delays. It should be noted that Japan Airlines operates more than 500 flights a day so the impact of alcohol-related incidents is statistically insignificant.

Nevertheless, a high-profile incident in which JAL pilot Katsutoshi Jitsukawa showed up for his flight from Heathrow to Tokyo in early November with blood-alcohol content of .189 prompted the airline to review its policies. It also led to the company president taking a voluntary 20 percent pay cut. "We feel deeply responsible for causing the (Jitsukawa) incident that should never have happened," said Japan Airlines President Yuji Akasaka. JAL announced the new policies after JAL and ANA brass met with government officials earlier this week.

Comments (4)

Apparently, some geniuses think that the best way to stop people from violating an 8-hour alcohol ban, is to replace it with a 24-hour alcohol ban.

I am in awe. But not shocked.

Posted by: YARS (Tom Yarsley) | November 25, 2018 5:20 PM    Report this comment

The Japanese definitely have their vices, but this is a total overreach while looking for a solution..

Posted by: Tom O'Toole | November 26, 2018 8:41 AM    Report this comment

According to the news, the pilot adhered to the 12 hour ban but drank so much that he was still above the legal limit. So increasing the time from 12 hours to 24 hours in this case would possibly have solved the problem: "According to the Kyodo news agency, he had been drinking from around 6 p.m. the previous evening, finishing at approximately midnight. The flight to Haneda airport in Tokyo was not until 7 p.m. the next day but the airman's alcohol levels were still prohibitively high"

Posted by: Scott Dickey | November 26, 2018 3:00 PM    Report this comment

I that the stick shaker, nope just the pilot delirium tremens!

Posted by: sexy aviator | November 27, 2018 10:17 AM    Report this comment

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