Violation of Alcohol Consumption Regulation
Interim Investigation Report and Preventive Measures

On October 28, 2018, a Japan Airlines co-pilot scheduled to board flight JL044 from London Heathrow Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport failed a breath test in violation of UK`s Aviation Law (Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003), which showed he had excessive alcohol. The company today announced an update on the investigation process and submitted key preventive measures to the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau.

As the individual`s situation was only realized through an external source, the company fully understands the severity of the violation. The Company does not condone the individual`s actions, as safety remains our utmost priority. Please be assured that actions will be taken immediately.

Interim Investigation Report

  • In regards to the results of the in-house breathalyzer test, the company met with the individual on November 1 and received an apology for his actions. The company has also found that the results on the current breathalyzer model can be falsified. As a result, the company has grounds to believe that the individual performed an unlawful act by falsifying the results of the test.
  • In terms of the scent of alcohol, the two captains were interviewed on four occasions and recalled that the co-pilot discreetly kept his distance from the crew, which may have resulted in the inability to notice any scent of alcohol on the individual.
  • In total, thirteen individuals who had been in contact with the co-pilot (i.e. cabin crew and airport security personnel) were interviewed, but other than the bus driver, no one noticed the scent of alcohol. (5 Airline Staff / 8 Non Airline Staff)
  • The two captains were found at fault for neglecting to double-check the test results reported by the co-pilot.
  • In terms of the excessive consumption of alcohol, the company has found that the co-pilot lacked an awareness on the effects of alcohol, including the time it takes to fully decompose it out of one`s system. Based on the actions taken by the individual, the company has concluded that the co-pilot knowingly falsified his test results, while fully understanding the flaws of the current breathalyzer system.

Preventive Measures

  1. Actions taken by the Company
    • Internal reminder regarding the precautions/proper usage of the current breathalyzer system (30OCT)
    • Notification to employees regarding the details of the incident (01NOV)
    • Assign airport staff to observe breathalyzer testing at Japan domestic airports (01NOV) and at overseas airports (09NOV)
    • Prohibit consumption of alcohol 24 hours prior to reporting for a flight from Japan.
      No alcohol consumption policy during an on-duty stay at domestic/overseas location (01NOV)
  2. Future Actions to be taken by the Company
    • Implement new breathalyzer systems at overseas airports (shipment starts 19NOV - implemented at LHR on 01NOV)
    • Publish specific guidelines in the aircraft operation manual regarding the limit on alcohol concentration levels. (as soon as preparations are completed)
    • Implement official penalties for flight crew violating the regulated alcohol concentration level. (as soon as preparations are completed)
    • Implement procedures to follow up with staff that show signs of health issues (implement by February 1, 2019)
    • Cabin crew, mechanics, airport operation staff, and ground handling crew will be required to undergo a breathalyzer test (as soon as preparations are completed)
    • Raise awareness on effects of alcohol consumption (implement by end of December 2018)
    • Implement measures shown above at all JAL Group companies.

November 16, 2018
Japan Airlines

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