Pilot alcohol test compulsory for all Taiwan-based airlines

Taipei--Starting June 10, all pilots on Taiwanese airlines will be required to take an alcohol test before flying, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) announced Friday.

The bureau said it was notifying Taiwanese carriers of the new regulations, which will also require 30 percent of flight attendants and ground maintenance personnel to be tested.

Commercial airlines typically test about 30 percent of their pilots for alcohol when they report for duty, but the CAA said that will be extended to all pilots with effect from June 10.

In addition, the CAA said, it will be asking airlines to submit a quarterly report of their alcohol tests of pilots, flight attendants and maintenance personnel.

Apart from the airlines' testing of their pilots, the airport management in Taiwan also currently tests about 5 percent of flight crews reporting for duty, the CAA noted, adding that due to limited manpower that percentage will not be changed.

The decision to expand alcohol testing of flight crews came after the pilots of two Taiwanese carriers -- Far Eastern Air Transport and China Airlines - recently failed the alcohol tests during random checks at the airport, the CAA said.

Although such cases are rare, the CAA said, it will not tolerate any violations and is implementing the new regulations to prevent pilots from flying under the influence of alcohol.

Over the past 15 years, there have only three reported cases of pilots failing an alcohol test in Taiwan, including the two recent ones.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel