United Airlines has made changes to its alcohol policy for pilots just over a week after at least two pilots were arrested in Scotland on suspicion of intoxication prior to takeoff.
The updated policy went into effect on Saturday and requires that pilots refrain from drinking alcohol for a period of at least 12 hours before reporting for duty, the airline confirmed to Fox News.
The previous requirement was that pilots have their last alcoholic drink no later than eight hours before showing up to work as federal regulations prohibit any crew member from working on a civil aircraft within eight hours of consuming alcohol.
The August 3 incident at Glasgow Airport prompted the cancellation of the Newark, New Jersey-bound flight. Passengers were provided with hotel and meal vouchers and rebooked on alternative flights.
“The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority. We hold all of our employees to the highest standards and have a strict, no-tolerance policy for alcohol,” United Airlines spokesman Jonathan Guerin said in a statement.
Earlier this month, a 49-year-old flight attendant working on a United Airlines regional flight from Chicago to South Bend, Indiana was arrested and charged with criminal public intoxication after passengers reported seeing her drunk during the trip. A breathalyzer test determined that her blood alcohol level was fives times over the legal limit for flight attendants.
Last month, police arrested a Delta Air Lines pilot at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after he was seen in possession of an alcoholic container and was suspected of being impaired before he was scheduled to fly to California.
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