Pilots want action taken against disruptive LIAT passenger

Leeward Islands Air Line Pilots' Association
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Pilots want action taken against disruptive LIAT passenger

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Dec 30, 2016

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestne ... -passenger

Pilots want action taken against disruptive LIAT passenger
Friday, December 30, 2016

ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC)

The Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) is calling on the regional airline, LIAT, to indicate what action it intends to take against a passenger who earlier this month accused one of its members of being drunk and forced the cancellation of a scheduled flight.

“LIALPA wishes to state categorically, that we were never in doubt that our pilot was innocent of the mischievous allegation and we continue to stand unequivocally in support of our pilot. We will also do whatever is necessary to protect our pilot’s reputation and will explore all avenues in doing so,” the association said in a statement.

The Antigua-based airline said the pilot who had been accused by the passenger of smelling of alcohol, had been cleared of the allegation after he “voluntarily submitted to independent testing by medical professionals in Barbados”.

In a statement, the airline said that the incident had occurred on December 13, when the passenger on the flight to St Vincent and the Grenadines from Barbados’ Grantley Adams International Airport, “alleged (to have) detected the smell of alcohol on one of the operating pilots”.

“LIAT’s record of safety and training is of the highest standard and the company strongly refutes any such allegation made towards any of its pilots. The pilot voluntarily submitted to independent testing by medical professionals in Barbados shortly after the allegation and as expected, all results were negative.

“All required protocols were followed by our staff and certain passengers were required to submit formal reports to the relevant authorities. This resulted in further delay and the eventual cancellation of the flight.”

LIAT said that “no findings or action was taken by any airport or other authority on the passenger’s allegation” and that it “sincerely regrets the disruption of its flight and wishes to assure its passengers that the company, its staff and its crew will continue to operate and serve the travelling public”.

But LIALPA said it is “waiting to be informed of the measures LIAT will take in dealing with the passenger “adding that it is “aware of the standing procedures the company has in dealing with disruptive passengers.

“In the past, these measures have included legal action taken against the passenger(s) and/or the passenger(s) being blacklisted on all LIAT-operated flights. We are confident that LIAT will deal with this situation no differently.”

The association said that it has also taken note of the company “strongly” refuting the allegation against the pilot but said “based on precedent, we are not satisfied with LIAT simply saying that no findings or action was taken by any airport or other authority on the passenger’s allegation.

“Therefore, we await the company informing us of the actions it will take against this disruptive passenger.

“LIALPA regrets the disruption and subsequent cancellation of the flight. We want to reassure the travelling public that we are always committed and dedicated to serving you at the highest professional levels. Our social contract with the Caribbean people is unbreakable, and our commitment to transporting you at the highest levels of safety is and always will remain paramount,” the association added.

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