Thomson Airways pilot suspended over alcohol claims


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The Independent Online

An airline pilot has been suspended after being arrested on suspicion of being over the legal alcohol limit.

The 51-year-old man, who works for the holiday airline Thomson Airways, was detained by West Midlands Police at Birmingham Airport on 10 February.

It is reported that he was just moments from boarding an aircraft to fly it at the time, though it is not clear how the police came to be informed of allegations he was intoxicated.

The pilot has since been told he will face no further police action but Thomson is carrying out its own investigation into the incident.

A spokeswoman for the airline said: “Thomson Airways is aware that allegations of an aviation offence brought against one of our pilots have been dropped.

“However, we are continuing to conduct an internal investigation into the situation, and the pilot in question has been suspended.”

The pilot, who has not been named, was initially released on bail pending further inquiries after being arrested inside the airport on suspicion of being unfit to perform aviation duties due to drink.

By law, pilots are not allowed to have more than nine microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of their breath – drivers, by comparison, are allowed 35mcg.

In a separate case, the pilot Radu Cristea of the Romanian airline Tarom will face trial later this month after he was arrested at Heathrow in February over claims that he was drunk.