For the most part, planes pretty much fly themselves these days, but still, no way do you want a drunk pilot flying you plane. On Saturday two pilots for United Airlines were arrested for violations of the Railways and Transport Safety Act before their flight from Scotland to Newark Airport in New Jersey. The pilots, aged 45 and 61, had been drinking. To be fair, the drinking limit for commercial pilots is a BAC below 0.04, which is pretty much one drink.
Jay Ratliff iHeart's Airline Analyst, wrote:
With the tens of thousands of flights which operate each day around the world, I am pleased to say these are isolated occurrences. I will also quickly add these pilots were not necessarily drunk, as the mere presence of alcohol in their system is enough to have them removed from service. There is a strict 8 hour "bottle to throttle" rule which prohibits pilots from having any alcohol within 8 hours of the time they report for duty.
Over the years various pilot groups have maintained they should be allowed to completely bypass the security process. After all, they have the lives of everyone onboard in their hands and screening them for a pocketknife seems ridiculous - to use their word. However, I totally disagree and I feel each crew member should go through the screening process, just as everyone else.
I like having a TSA officer as a final check for anyone reporting for duty, just in case one of the crew members does appear to be under the influence of a substance. We need multiple levels of security and having the TSA as a last check is a good idea.