Make alcohol tests for pilots mandatory

I must confess that I am afraid of flying.

Among the many unknowns and unexpected things that could contribute to the safety or lack thereof when flying, I have always wondered about the pilot's sobriety and naively presumed that all pilots are tested for that before they are allowed to take to the sky.

Hence, I was shocked to read about the SIA pilot who failed an alcohol test before flying (CAAS probing SIA pilot who failed alcohol test; Sept 19).

It is unthinkable for pilots to be subjected to only random tests and not mandatory ones each time they take to the sky with hundreds of lives at their mercy.

We have measures in place to ensure that pilots have adequate rest, especially those on long-haul flights, but it baffles me that there are no adequate measures in place to ensure the sobriety of pilots.

With such irregular ad-hoc checks, who is to know whether past air disasters were caused by pilots' insobriety?

I suggest that the Government make the testing of pilots' sobriety mandatory.

Lim Boon Seng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2018, with the headline 'Make alcohol tests for pilots mandatory'. Print Edition | Subscribe