Government imposes alcohol limits on flight crews

Aviation
personnel will be subject to stringent blood/alcohol limits, aviation minister
Tony McNulty has announced.

Flight
deck crew, cabin crew, and air traffic controllers will be limited to levels of
20 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

This
standard is four times more stringent than levels for drink driving (80
milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood).

Aircraft
maintenance engineers will be subject to the current road traffic limit.

Existing
aviation legislation already makes it an offence for pilots and other members
of the crew of an aircraft, air traffic controllers or licensed aircraft
maintenance engineers to carry out their duties while impaired through alcohol
or drugs.

From
today, powers exist for the police to test suspected offenders and take action
if they have more than the prescribed level of alcohol in their bodies.

McNulty
said the new regulations would bring aviation into line with other modes of
transport, which have had legal alcohol limits for many years.

The
regulations follow several high-profile cases of pilots allegedly drinking
before boarding their aircraft.

By Michael Millar

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