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A Delta Air Lines pilot was arrested and a flight from Edinburgh Airport (EDI) to New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) was canceled yesterday. Thirty-five minutes before departure he was removed from the plane. Police Scotland confirmed that the arrest was around the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003.
The Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003 concerns substance (alcohol or drugs) use by crew members. With the police confirmation, it sounds like the pilot was intoxicated. This does not mean necessarily that he was incapacitated, as pilots are held to much stricter standards. If a pilot is found in violation of this law, the penalties are serious (including potential jail time).
No word has been released as to how law enforcement knew the veteran, 61-year-old pilot was potentially impaired. Another crew member could have reported them, but this is unclear. In any case, if the pilot was in violation, it’s good that this was caught as flying under the influence of anything potentially puts an entire plane of people in danger.
Anthony’s Take: More details will surely be released, but it sounds like the situation was handled appropriately even if that meant that the flight had to be cancelled and the passengers were inconvenienced.
(H/T: Paddle Your Own Kanoo.)
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