• Sweden edition
Drunken airline pilot stopped at Arlanda

Drunken airline pilot stopped at Arlanda

Published: 10 May 2012 08:08 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 May 2012 08:08 GMT+02:00

“We can confirm that one person was caught at a routine check that police carried out,“ said Jessica Fremnell of the Arlanda police to daily Aftonbladet.

The SAS crew members were carrying out their duties on Tuesday when theywere asked to take the test and one of the pilots turned out to be over the legal limit.

According to an Aftonbladet source, the man was working on the outer safety checks of the craft when he tested positive for alcohol in the border police test.

The man had a blood alcohol content of over 1.0 promille, which is 0.8 promille over the limit. The limit in Sweden is a blood alcohol content exceeding 0.2 promille alcohol, both for driving and flying.

However, at SAS, the rules are even stricter, prohibiting pilots to fly unless they are under the 0.2 promille limit eight hours before takeoff.

After testing positive for alcohol the man was not allowed to fly the scheduled flight later in the afternoon.

The company were unwilling to disclose the destination to where the man was supposed to fly and told daily Dagens Nyheter (DN) that they view the incident as a “personnel issue” and not a security risk.

“We are aware of the situation and take what has happened extremely seriously. We support the border police’s work to a 100 percent,” said Rebecka Södergren from SAS to Aftonbladet.

This is the first time someone has tested positive for alcohol at Arlanda since new rules came into effect in September 2010, making it possible for police to carry out checks on crew.

Göran Adbro, chairman of the Swedish Airline Pilots’ Association (Svensk Pilotförening) has never before heard of any Swedish pilot being caught in a breathalyzer test.

“There is a zero tolerance policy for drinking and we stand by that,” he said to Aftonbladet.

After the discovery of the inebriated pilot, Scandinavian Airlines will be carrying out its own internal investigation alongside that of the police, according to DN.

The Local/rm


The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

08:45 May 10, 2012 by byke
If I was caught having being that drunk, id be pissed.
08:46 May 10, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
Good work stopping this guy. 5 times over the limit. I hope it is not a random inspection, and that all pilots get tested all the time.

To increase safety in countries where they are less digilent within their airports, mabye every commerical aircraft should be equipped with a breathalizer machine in the passenger seating area. After the safety demonstration, all pilots could come out of the cockpit and blow into the breathalizer so that all of the passengers can see that they are fit to fly the aircraft.
10:11 May 10, 2012 by hjoian
Breath tests should be mandatory for pilots and crew before flight briefings.
10:47 May 10, 2012 by EtoileBrilliant
Anecdotal evidence suggests that within the airline industry everyone knows who the culprits are but lack the mechanism to report a colleague. What is needed is an effective whistle-blower system where staff can report on their colleagues anonymously.
10:47 May 10, 2012 by jack sprat
Not the first apparently.


I well recall drinking into the early hours with a Canadian pilot c/w aircrew and cabin staff, just a few hours before they were due to fly a 747 out of Tenerife.
11:38 May 10, 2012 by McChatter
"However, at SAS, the rules are even stricter, prohibiting pilots to fly unless they are under the 0.2 promille limit eight hours before takeoff." That leaves an awful long time to get over the limit!
11:54 May 10, 2012 by cogito
Huh? You call eight hours strict? (#6).

I believe U.S. carriers prohibit pilot consumption of alcohol for 24 hours before a flight.
17:35 May 10, 2012 by kloster
"The company were unwilling to disclose the destination to where the man was supposed to fly and told daily Dagens Nyheter (DN) that they view the incident as a "personnel issue" and not a security risk."

Sorry SAS but please wake up, drunken pilots are a security risk. With this attitude it is hardly surprising SAS losses money year after year after year and well run companies are making ever increasing profits. Ryan air -which now is transporting 70-80 million more passengers a year now than SAS. Norwegian has placed huge orders to increase its fleet. Both companies do view drunken pilots as a security risk.

SAS get rid of drunken pilots and staff who don´t view them as a security risk and wake up.
17:46 May 10, 2012 by mats223
I heard that last week Air Baltic pilot was arrested in Riga for same reason.
05:21 May 11, 2012 by Lunneia
Typical! That is what happens when a people cant wait to be 18 to drink, and in a society where a high school diploma is respected much more than a PhD!
16:20 May 11, 2012 by wakak
So, SAS do not give anything to drink to its customers, unlike passenger friendly companies like Swiss or Air France. On SAS, you do not even get a glass of water.

But their pilots apparently drink as much as they want!

It is not a surprise that SAS loses money then.
17:28 May 11, 2012 by cogito
I flew from Paris to Stockholm with Air France recently for less than an SAS ticket for the same day/same route.

AF served the passengers dinner with wine.

SAS was charging for water.
13:39 May 12, 2012 by skylarkpilot
I stopped flying with SAS years ago when they adopted the same attitudes as BA in-so-much-as they appear to think they are doing you a favour to let you fly with them. Ryanair customer service may be awful, but at least you get what you pay for. A cheap no frills flight to where you want to be.

SAS may think it a personal issue for the pilot. It would be an even more personal issue for the families of the people he killed when he stuffed it up !

I normally would not call for someone to lose their jobs without knowing the precise circumstances, but this person was in a position of responsibility for possibly a couple of hundred peoples lives. Should they ever let someone like that fly again ?
Today's headlines
Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is Sweden's top scorer in history. PHOTO: TT/Maja Suslin

Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is recovering well from the nagging heel problem that has stopped him playing for Sweden during its Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. READ  

Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir
A shot from the video on YouTube.

Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir

Two sisters from Södertälje near Stockholm are celebrating getting more than 1.3 million hits on YouTube, with a video calling for peace in war-torn Syria. READ  

Pirate Bay
Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison
A 2013 image of Svartholm Warg. Photo: TT

Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison

Swedish "hactivist" Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for hacking crimes. READ  

Royal family
Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback
Princess Madeleine at a previous Nobel banquet. Photo: TT

Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback

Sweden's Princess Madeleine is scheduled to appear at the Nobel Festival in Stockholm in December, after taking time out from her royal duties to focus on looking after her daughter. READ  

'We knew that Israel would be critical'
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (left), with Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

'We knew that Israel would be critical'

Sweden's Foreign Minister has told The Local she respects Israel's decision to recall its ambassador after Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine, and laughed off comments about IKEA furniture made by her Israeli counterpart. READ  

'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'
Doctors say we should make the most of the autumn sunshine. Photo: Shutterstock

'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'

Spending time outdoors this autumn will help you survive a cold, dark Swedish winter. Baba Pendse, Head of Psychiatry at Lund University shares his top tips for battling the seasonal blues with The Local. READ  

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid
Skiers hit the slopes in Åre, western Sweden. Photo: TT

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid

Norwegian sports officials have said they want to co-host the winter Olympics with Sweden in 2026. But there has so far been no official response from Sweden. READ  

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court
Photo: TT

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges. READ  

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars
Swedish actresses Sandra Huldt and Julia Ragnarsson. Julia (right) has been nominated for a Rising Star award. Photo: TT

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week. READ  

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
People-watching: October 30th
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
Blog updates

31 October

Editor’s Blog, October 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Welcome to our latest 60-second round-up of the week’s news. First, Sweden made headlines around the..." READ »


29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Property of the week: Österåker
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Zlatan's career in pictures
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
People-watching: October 22nd
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Property of the week: Malmö
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
People-watching: October 15th
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Property of the week: Lorensberg
Scandinavia's child bride
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.