Taipei, April 21 (CNA) Every pilot working for Taiwanese airlines will have to take an alcohol test before flying starting early June, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said on Friday.
The new regulation affects over 2,800 pilots, including those in Taiwan's general civil aviation transportation sector, as well as those working in common aviation industries and at local flying schools, the agency said.
Currently, Taiwan's aviation companies perform alcohol tests only on about 30 percent of their pilots, according to the CAA.
Testing was expanded at the demand of the Legislature after two Taiwanese carriers -- Far Eastern Air Transport and China Airlines -- recently reported incidents in which their pilots were found to have a higher alcohol concentration level than the legal limit during random checks at terminals, it said.
Although such cases are rare, the CAA has said it will not tolerate any violation and is adopting the regulation to proactively prevent pilots from flying under the influence of alcohol.
Only three cases of pilots failing the alcohol test have been reported the past 15 years in Taiwan, including the two recent ones. The first happened in 2011 when a pilot of Daily Air Corp. was suspended for three months, but the airline was not disciplined.
(By Wang Shu-fen and Elizabeth Hsu)