Published: Mon, November 05, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

JAL pilot admits being almost 10 times over alcohol limit

JAL pilot admits being almost 10 times over alcohol limit

JAL withheld the co-pilot's identify, but London's Metropolitan Police identified him as 42-year-old Katsutoshi Jitsukawa.

A Japan Airlines co-pilot was arrested earlier this week after he was found to be almost ten times over the legal alcohol limit shortly before takeoff at Heathrow Airport.

Aircraft Boeing 777 took off after the 69-minute delay.

British authorities notified JAL that breath and blood tests on the co-pilot found alcohol levels far exceeding the legal limit, the airline said. He is now in custody and will be sentenced on November 29 at the Isleworth Crown Court.

A driver on a crew bus at London Heathrow Airport smelled alcohol on the co-pilot's breath and he was arrested. It also announced it would roll out a more sophisticated breathalyzer system to monitor its pilots' alcohol overseas later this month, according to NHK.

In a statement, the airline said: "The company sincerely apologises to the passengers and to all affected by the employee's actions".

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Jitsukawa acknowledged he had drunk about two bottles of wine and a pitcher of beer the previous night, NHK said.

The airline issued an apology, promising "immediate actions to prevent any future occurrence".

This incident comes after another Japanese carrier had to apologise after one of its pilots called in sick after a night out drinking, causing five domestic flights to be delayed.

Keiichi Ishii, transport minister, said the country will "use all possible means to ensure flight safety".

Following the arrest, Japan Airlines temporarily doubled the time where pilots aren't allowed to consume alcohol from 12 hours to 24 hours before a flight.

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