Glasgow & West Scotland

Air Transat drink charge pilots released on bail

Air Transat flight
Image caption The pilots were due to take control of this Air Transat Airbus A310

Two Canadian pilots charged with being impaired by alcohol as they prepared to fly a passenger jet from Scotland to Toronto have been released on bail.

Jean-Francois Perreault, 39, and Imran Zafar Syed, 37, were arrested on 18 July before the Air Transat flight left Glasgow Airport.

Both were remanded in custody at Paisley Sheriff Court last week.

At the same court, both pilots have now been granted bail on condition they surrender their passports.

Mr Perreault, from the province of Ontario, and Mr Syed, from Toronto, were detained at the airport on Monday last week.

Flight delay

The delayed Airbus A310 flight eventually set off on Tuesday morning, with about 250 passengers having spent the night at nearby hotels.

The men were remanded in custody when they first appeared, charged under section 93 of the Railway and Transport Safety Act, which covers alcohol and drug limits in aviation.

They also initially faced a charge of threatening and abusive behaviour which has since been dropped from the petition.

On Tuesday, the men were bailed during a brief appearance in private where they made no plea or declaration.

The pilots are believed to have left via the back door of the court in a silver people carrier with blacked-out windows about an hour-and-a-half after their appearance in court room one.

Section 93 of the Railway and Transport Safety Act states: "A person commits an offence if he performs an aviation function at a time when the proportion of alcohol in his breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit, or he carries out an activity which is ancillary to an aviation function at a time when the proportion of alcohol in his breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit."

For pilots, the limit of alcohol in the case of breath is nine microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres, according to the Act.

Air Transat announced last week that both pilots had been suspended while an internal investigation was carried out.

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