An experienced pilot who was found to be more than three times the permitted alcohol level as he was about to fly an Airbus with 145 passengers on board to Pakistan has been jailed for nine months.
The judge sentencing Irfan Faiz, 55, said it was "extraordinary" that the rules in Pakistan only stated that there should be a 12-hour gap between "bottle and throttle", no matter how much the pilot had drunk.
Father-of-two Faiz was breath-tested at Leeds Bradford Airport on September 18 as he was undergoing pre-flight checks in an Airbus 310 with 145 passengers and 11 crew on board.
He was about to pilot the PIA 776 flight to Islamabad when he was asked to leave the cockpit due to concerns raised by security staff who said he smelled of drink and was unsteady on his feet.
The pilot told police he had consumed three-quarters of a bottle of whisky but had stopped drinking at about 3am. He was arrested before the flight which was due to depart at 10.10pm.
Leeds Bradford Airport has recorded a major traffic milestone with the announcement that it has broken its 3 million rolling year passenger figure, according to latest figures from the Civil Aviation Authority*.
Passenger traffic was up by an impressive 19.6%* in May and 12.9% in June compared to the same months last year.
Commenting on this notable milestone, Tony Hallwood, Leeds Bradford Airport’s Marketing Director, said: “LBA’s significant increase in passenger traffic and extended route and airline choice for 2013 is particularly pleasing in such a competitive marketplace. "