CAAS tightens regulatory regime on alcohol abstention for pilots

28 March 2019

Programmes to be introduced to strengthen detection and rehabilitation

Starting from 31 March 2019, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) will tighten the regulatory regime on alcohol abstention to mitigate the risk of pilots operating under the influence of alcohol.  

CAAS has a zero tolerance policy towards alcohol consumption. On 31 March 2019, CAAS will implement the Airport Alcohol Testing Programme (AATP), and commence random alcohol testing of pilots at Changi and Seletar airports. The alcohol abstinence standard will be 0.02 grams per 210 litres of breath. Pilots found to exceed an alcohol limit of 0.02 grams per 210 litres of breath will not be permitted to fly. In addition, pilots found to be operating under the influence of alcohol may be subject to criminal penalties, of up to S$50,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 2 years for the first offence, and up to S$100,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years for repeat offenders.  

In addition, Singapore Air Operator Certificate holders will be required to strengthen their alcohol abstention policies1. From 1 May 2019, they will be required to implement an Airline Alcohol Management Programme (AAMP) to proactively identify, manage and rehabilitate pilots with problematic use of alcohol. The AAMP must include components such as a comprehensive peer and self-reporting system, as well as an alcohol rehabilitation programme2 for pilots. (More details on the AATP and AAMP can be found in the enclosed Factsheet.)

These enhancements to the regulatory regime have been developed following a comprehensive review and consultations with the aviation community. They will also be complemented with other actions by airlines, pilot associations and unions.

Mr Kevin Shum, Director-General of CAAS, said, “The safety of aircraft operations, passengers and crew on board is paramount. CAAS and the aviation community take a serious view of pilots operating aircraft under the influence of alcohol. The new alcohol testing and management programmes will help ensure that pilots’ ability to operate aircraft is not impaired by alcohol.”

For example, SIA Group and Jetstar Asia currently require pilots to abstain from alcohol 10 hours before flight.

2 The objective of the programme is to address the root cause of the problem, rehabilitate the pilot and prevent recurrence. Airlines are encouraged to work with their pilot associations and unions to ensure successful implementation of the programme.

Enclosed:

About the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS)
The mission of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is to grow a safe, vibrant air hub and civil aviation system, making a key contribution to Singapore's success. CAAS' roles are to oversee and promote safety in the aviation industry, develop the air hub and aviation industry, provide air navigation services, provide aviation training for human resource development, and contribute to the development of international civil aviation. For more information, visit www.caas.gov.sg

For more information, please contact:

Michelle Teo
Assistant Director (Corporate Communications)
Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
Tel: +65 6541 2086
Email: michelle_teo@caas.gov.sg    

Last Updated on 18 June 2019