A Delta Air Lines pilot was taken into custody on Friday morning at Edinburgh Airport for allegedly being intoxicated before a flight to New York JFK. The 61-year-old pilot was charged under a UK law that sets strict limits on alcohol levels for crew members.
The flight DL209 was scheduled to depart at 10:30 am with passengers already on board, but it was canceled at the last minute, according to the Herald Scotsman. The passengers were offered alternative travel arrangements by the airline.
The pilot is due to appear at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday. He faces a possible two-year jail sentence if found guilty of breaching the Railways and Transport Safety Act of 2003.
The act states that a person commits an offence if they perform an aviation function or an activity ancillary to it when the proportion of alcohol in their blood exceeds 20 milligrams per 100 milliliters. The limit for drivers in Scotland is 50 milligrams per 100 milliliters.
A Delta spokesperson said in a statement: ‘Delta confirms that one of its crew was taken into custody [Friday] morning at EDI Airport. Delta is assisting the authorities with their on-going inquiries. Delta’s EDI-JFK flight (June 16) has been canceled, and customers are being re-accommodated.’
The spokesperson also added: ‘We apologize to customers impacted by this cancellation.’ They also said that ‘Delta’s alcohol policy is among the strictest in the industry and we have no tolerance for violation.’
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: ‘Around 10am on Friday, 16 June, a 61-year-old man was arrested at Edinburgh airport in connection with the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003. The man was subsequently charged and is due to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday 19 June, 2023. A report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.’