Pilots In Court Charged With Being Drunk

Two Canadian pilots charged with being drunk as they prepared to fly a passenger jet from Scotland to Toronto are to due to make a second court appearance today.

Glasgow Sheriff Court

Jean-Francois Perreault, 39, and Imran Zafar Syed, 37, were arrested on Monday July 18 before they were due to take off on the Air Transat flight from Glasgow Airport at 1pm.

The men were remanded in custody when they appeared at Paisley Sheriff Court last Tuesday, 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.

Perreault, from the province of Ontario, and Syed, from Toronto, were also charged with threatening and abusive behaviour during the private appearance at the court, around one mile from Glasgow Airport.

They will make a second private appearance at the court today.

Air Transat announced last week that the pair had been suspended while an internal investigation is carried out.

An airline statement said: ''The issue of the July 18 arrest of two Air Transat pilots in Glasgow is a complex one and because the matter is the subject of judicial proceedings in Scotland the airline will not comment at this point.

''Both pilots, who are personally facing charges, have received an administrative suspension for the duration of the carrier's internal investigation.''

The flight took off almost 24 hours after its planned departure with the Air Transat apologising and promising to compensate passengers up to the maximum £500 entitlement.

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