Japan Airlines announced it will enact stricter measures to monitor its crew members’ alcohol consumption after its pilots failed multiple alcohol tests over the past year.
The airline will introduce more advanced breathalyzers for its domestic and international crews by Monday, November 19, Japanese national newspaper The Asahi Shimbun reported. Crew members with excessive blood alcohol content will face stiff penalties.
In addition, Japan Airlines will conduct more frequent medical checks.
The decision comes on the heels of an incident involving Japan Airlines co-pilot Katsutoshi Jitsukawa, who was arrested on October 28 after being almost 10 times over the legal alcohol limit prior to his flight at London Heathrow airport in October, according to CNN.
JAL’s policy, enacted after the Heathrow incident, preventing pilots from drinking within 24 hours of a flight will remain in place, The Japan Times reported.
The publication also reported that airline president, Yuji Akasaka, will be cutting his compensation by 20 percent “to demonstrate management responsibility.”
“The company fully understands the severity of the violation,” Japan Airlines said in a statement to Business Insider. “The Company does not condone the individual`s actions, as safety remains our utmost priority. Please be assured that actions will be taken immediately.”
According to the BBC, Japanese law does not set limits for alcohol consumption for its pilots, which may have played a part in the fact that since August 2017 there have been a whopping 19 instances where Japan Airlines pilots failed the company’s alcohol tests prior to flying.
BBC reports that 12 flights were delayed due to these failed alcohol tests, with another seven requiring an alternate crew in order to operate on time.