‘Drunk on duty’ Canadian pilots released on bail

The Air Transat A310 was due to depart Glasgow for Toronto. File picture: Wiki Commons

The Air Transat A310 was due to depart Glasgow for Toronto. File picture: Wiki Commons

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Two Canadian pilots charged with being drunk as they prepared to fly a passenger jet from Scotland to Toronto have been granted bail on condition they surrender their passports.

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

They are both accused of performing an aviation function while over the limit.

The men were remanded in custody when they first 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.

Perreault, from the province of Ontario, and Syed, from Toronto, initially also faced a charge of threatening and abusive behaviour which has since been dropped from the petition.

• READ MORE: Airline suspends pilots charged with being drunk on Glasgow flight

They were bailed during a brief appearance in private at the same court yesterday, where they made no plea or declaration.

Perreault and Syed are believed to have left via the back door of the court in a silver people carrier with blacked-out windows about an hour-and-a-half after their appearance in court room one.

Section 93 of the Railway and Transport Safety 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.

The delayed Airbus flight eventually set off the next morning with about 250 passengers having spent the night at nearby hotels.

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

The Civil Aviation Authority says on its website that pilots “must not fly under the influence of alcohol, even when you feel fine but still have an elevated blood alcohol level”.

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