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Alcohol tests for pilots routinely conducted at all UAE airports – GCAA

Alcohol tests for pilots routinely conducted at all UAE airports – GCAA

Pilots found to exceed an alcohol limit of 0.02 grams will not be permitted to fly

Alcohol tests are routinely being carried out at all civil airports in the UAE as part of the safety procedures, ‏the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority, (GCAA) has said.

The GCAA began conducting the tests in 2018, and it is being carried out on a planned and random basis, official news agency WAM quoted officials as saying.

“When a particular flight is selected for alcohol testing, the pilots reporting for duty will be subject to breathalyser tests. Pilots found to exceed an alcohol limit of 0.02 grams (20mg) will not be permitted to fly,” explained Ismaeil Mohammed Al Blooshi, assistant director general, Aviation Safety Affairs Sector at the GCAA.

“This limit has been determined based on international best practices. It is equivalent to a ‘zero tolerance’ standard, with a small allowance for the potential presence of alcohol in the breath, due to other factors such as medication or mouthwash,” he added.

So far, a total of 22 tests have been carried out on flight crew from different operators.

When necessary, enforcement actions have been taken against the violators, the report quoted GCAA as saying.

“The alcohol test further compliments the GCAA’s risk based approach to control any such occurrences of foreign aircraft flight crew operating under the influence of alcohol, in UAE airspace,” said Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director general of the GCAA.

Last year, Dubai airline flydubai said it had sacked a pilot who failed an alcohol test before he was due to operate a flight to the UAE from Nepal.

He was found to have a blood alcohol level over the legal limit and deemed unfit to operate the flight after colleagues raised concerns.

Read: Flydubai sacks pilot who failed alcohol test before flight

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