Tuesday 6 December 2016

Two pilots 'found drunk moments before take-off'

Paul Ward

Published 20/07/2016 | 06:38

A G4S van leaves Paisley Sheriff Court after two Canadian pilots were remanded in custody after being charged with being under the influence of alcohol as they prepared to fly a passenger jet from Scotland to Toronto. John Linton/PA Wire
A G4S van leaves Paisley Sheriff Court after two Canadian pilots were remanded in custody after being charged with being under the influence of alcohol as they prepared to fly a passenger jet from Scotland to Toronto. John Linton/PA Wire
A general view of Paisley Sheriff Court, where two Canadian pilots were remanded in custody after being charged with being under the influence of alcohol as they prepared to fly a passenger jet from Scotland to Toronto. John Linton/PA Wire
A G4S van leaves Paisley Sheriff Court after two Canadian pilots were remanded in custody after being charged with being under the influence of alcohol as they prepared to fly a passenger jet from Scotland to Toronto John Linton/PA Wire

Two Canadian pilots have been remanded in custody after being charged with being under the influence of alcohol as they prepared to fly a passenger jet from Scotland to Toronto.

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Jean-Francois Perreault, 39, and Imran Zafar Syed, 37, were arrested before they were due to take off on the Air Transat flight from Glasgow Airport at 1pm on Monday.

The pair were also charged with threatening and abusive behaviour during a private appearance at Paisley Sheriff Court on Tuesday, around one mile from the airport.

The men appeared from custody in front of Sheriff Susan Sinclair and were charged under section 93 of the Railway and Transport Safety Act, which covers alcohol and drug limits in aviation.

Section 93 of the Act states: "A person commits an offence if he performs an aviation function at a time when the proportion of alcohol in his breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit, or he carries out an activity which is ancillary to an aviation function at a time when the proportion of alcohol in his breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit."

For pilots, the limit of alcohol in the case of breath is nine microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres, according to the Act.

A general view of Paisley Sheriff Court, where two Canadian pilots were remanded in custody after being charged with being under the influence of alcohol as they prepared to fly a passenger jet from Scotland to Toronto. John Linton/PA Wire
A general view of Paisley Sheriff Court, where two Canadian pilots were remanded in custody after being charged with being under the influence of alcohol as they prepared to fly a passenger jet from Scotland to Toronto. John Linton/PA Wire

Perreault, from the province of Ontario, and Syed, from Toronto, were also charged under section 38 of the Criminal Justice Act which relates to "threatening or abusive behaviour".

They made no plea or declaration and will appear before the court again within eight days.

A G4S van leaves Paisley Sheriff Court after two Canadian pilots were remanded in custody after being charged with being under the influence of alcohol as they prepared to fly a passenger jet from Scotland to Toronto John Linton/PA Wire
A G4S van leaves Paisley Sheriff Court after two Canadian pilots were remanded in custody after being charged with being under the influence of alcohol as they prepared to fly a passenger jet from Scotland to Toronto John Linton/PA Wire

The delayed Airbus flight to Toronto set off on Tuesday morning, with passengers having spent Monday night at nearby hotels.

The airline earlier apologised to those affected and offered passengers compensation as a "goodwill gesture".

A letter to passengers said: "Please accept our sincere apologies for the disruption caused by the delay of your flight. While it is our policy to do everything within our power to ensure on-time performance, regrettably, this is not always the possible."

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