Japanese airline is sorry one of its pilots failed alcohol test

Japan Airlines pilot held for being drunk

A Japan Airlines copilot was arrested in London earlier this week after he was found to almost ten times over the legal alcohol limit shortly before takeoff.

The airline said the co-pilot was arrested Sunday at Heathrow Airport for violating British aviation law.

Jitsukawa admitted to the improper conduct at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court in west London on Thursday and will remain in custody until he is sentenced on November 29.

Despite passing a breath test at the company's office in Heathrow, the crew bus driver smelt alcohol on Jitsukawa and reported it to the airport's security personnel who contacted local police. British police made the co-pilot take a blood test to confirm the results.

According to BBC, the 42-year-old first officer was found to have 189mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in his system - whereas the legal limit for pilots is only 20mg.

The legal limit for pilots is 20 mg, while drivers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are allowed as much as 80 mg. The flight took off more than an hour late.

Japan Airlines issued a statement of apology, saying "safety remains our utmost priority" and that they will "implement immediate actions to prevent any future occurrences".

According to Japanese media, the airline has claimed the co-pilot drank two bottles of wine, three bottles of beer and two cans of beer on the night before the flight.

Days after a Japan Airlines co-pilot was arrested for being drunk before a flight in London, Japanese officials are proposing new rules for alcohol consumption by airline employees.

The incident came just a day after All Nippon Airways revealed a hung-over pilot had caused multiple flight delays.

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