October 13, 2008

Drunk Drivers Allowed to Fly Jets

Britain's Civil Aviation Authority has confirmed nine commercial airline pilots were convicted of drunken driving last year.

The disclosure that pilots banned from the road for drunken driving were allowed to fly jets came as a result of a Freedom of Information request, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

"Anyone who would drink drive should be out of that job for life," a spokesman for the International Airline Passengers Association told the newspaper. "The responsibility of a pilot is huge."

A Civil Aviation Authority spokesman says pilots convicted of drunken driving are required to attend an alcohol abuse clinic.

If an alcohol problem is identified, the spokesman says the pilot's medical certificate is withdrawn until he or she has successfully completed treatment.

Of the nine pilots convicted of drunken driving last year, three worked for easyJet and one was employed by Virgin Airlines.