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JAL, ANA urged to probe pilot drinking cases

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The transport ministry has instructed Japan Airlines and ANA Holdings Inc. to conduct detailed probes into recent cases of pilots’ drinking before boarding, take preventive measures and submit reports.

Transport minister Keiichi Ishii unveiled the instructions at a press conference on Tuesday.

A JAL male copilot who was to be on duty on an Oct. 28 flight from London’s Heathrow Airport to Tokyo International Airport at Haneda was unable to board the flight as alcohol levels exceeding limits were detected from his breath. He drank the previous day.

On Oct. 25, a male captain of an ANA group airline was unable to perform duties work on a flight in Okinawa Prefecture, as he complained of health problems after drinking the previous day.

Also on Tuesday, the transport ministry said it will set up a panel to study standards concerning drinking by flight crew members.

The panel will discuss upper limits for crew members’ bodily alcohol levels, whether to oblige them to take an alcohol test before boarding and rules related to their drinking, the ministry said.

The panel will hold its first meeting this month and is expected to compile an interim report within this year.

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