Passengers are accustomed to hearing that canceled flights are due to inclement weather, engine maintenance, or a lack of crew.
However, you probably haven’t heard of the reason why a Delta Air Lines flight from Edinburgh Airport (EDI) to New York’s John F Kennedy Airport (JFK) on June 16, 2023 was canceled: the pilot was detained just before takeoff.
While passengers were boarding the airplane 35 minutes prior to the planned flight time, the arrest was made.
The arrest was made in conjunction with the Railways and Transport Safety Act of 2003, Police Scotland has confirmed with numerous media sites, and an investigation is still ongoing.
“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,” a Police Scotland spokesperson told The Herald Scotland.
A spokesman for Delta Air Lines confirmed that one of its crew members had been arrested at EDI Airport and that the airline is currently aiding law enforcement with their ongoing investigations.
The Railways and Transportation Act of 2003 sets a blood alcohol limit for pilots at 0.02, which is lower than the 0.08 threshold for driving. This means that a pilot would be unable to lawfully operate an aircraft with even a little level of alcohol found in their system.
The veteran pilot might be sentenced to prison, pay penalties, and have their license revoked if they are proven guilty of drinking before flying.