KARACHI: Days after a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) steward was offloaded from a flight for consuming alcohol, the national flag carrier warned its pilots and cabin crew of stern action against officials found intoxicated while on duty, the airline’s spokesman Mashhood Tajwar confirmed on Friday.
Tajwar said that officials found violating the national flag carrier’s strict rules against alcohol consumption can face suspension or termination of employment.
“It is totally banned and whoever caught will be dealt with in accordance with corporation rules and regulations, which include termination as a maximum punishment,” he explained.
According to a Jan 9 internal safety bulletin issued by PIA, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has recommended alcohol testing of cabin crew during ramp inspections as per the UAE Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft (SAFA) Programme.
The GCAA has established the means to “test any flight crew operating a foreign aircraft subject to the UAE SAFA Programme” following the promulgation of requirements prohibiting the use of psychoactive substances including alcohol, the bulletin stated.
The bulletin also laid out mandatory requirements that flight operators must adhere to, including: – That crew members are aware of and adhere to the operators’ regulations as they pertain to psychoactive substances. – That crew members submit to testing as and when required by the GCAA without obstruction or complication. – That crew members will be understood to be on duty when they are observed by the GCAA inspector “performing aviation safety activities” or their name appears on the declaration of the intended flight. – That crew members understand the GCAA will report violations to the relevant authorities. – That effective remedial actions are taken to prevent recurrence of any hazards reported by the GCAA.
The bulletin stated that “strict compliance is required”.