SIA fires pilot who failed alcohol test in Melbourne last year

SIA fires pilot who failed alcohol test in Melbourne last year

singapore airlines flight
File photo of a Singapore Airlines plane. (Photo: Facebook/Singapore Airlines)

SINGAPORE: A Singapore Airlines (SIA) pilot who failed an alcohol test before a flight in Melbourne last year has been fired, said a spokesperson from the airline on Thursday (Jan 10). 

The incident in the September forced the cancellation of Wellington-bound flight SQ247, as well as its return flight SQ248.

"Singapore Airlines can confirm that the pilot who failed an alcohol test in Melbourne on Sep 15, 2018 has been terminated from employment with SIA," said the spokesperson, responding to Channel NewsAsia.

READ: Investigation launched into SIA pilot who failed alcohol test, only reported case in 10 years: CAAS

READ: Singapore Airlines pilots not allowed to consume alcohol within 10 hours of flight

The airline also said it is reviewing new measures together with other stakeholders such as the Pilots' Union to prevent further incidents like this from happening again.

The measures include random pre-flight testing, and reporting by individuals and peers. 

Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) had conducted a random drug and alcohol test that Saturday morning in September on all the crew members operating flight SQ247.

The pilot was found to have higher than suitable alcohol limit and did not pass the test. 

READ: No cases of pilots taking alcohol, drugs before boarding planes in Singapore: Lam Pin Min

Singapore's Air Navigation Order states that pilots shall not fly under the influence of any psychoactive substance – including alcohol, opioids and sedatives – which may render them unable to perform their duties in a safe and proper manner.

Offenders face a jail term of up to five years, a maximum fine of S$100,000 or both, if convicted.

SIA's flight crew are prohibited from consuming alcohol within 10 hours from their flight duty and are required to undergo any drug and alcohol tests by the relevant authorities. 

Additionally, SIA pilots undergo a stringent medical check every year to ensure they are fit to operate an aircraft, said the spokesperson. 

The spokesperson added: "They are also encouraged to highlight any concerns they may have regarding the well-being and safety of our customers, fellow crew members and the aircraft they are operating in.

"As the safety of our customers and crew are of utmost importance, substance or alcohol abuse will not be tolerated." 

Source: CNA/ad(hs)

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