The Indonesian low-cost Airline Lion Air has, once again, had its reputation and safety procedures called into question just as Indonesia enters into its busiest travel period over the Idul Fitri Holidays, as quoted from Bali Discovery.
On Wednesday, June 20, 2017, the National Anti-Narcotics Agency (BBN) apprehended a Lion Air pilot at the Lombok International Airport when a 30-year-old Indian national workingas a pilot for the airline tested positive for cannabis during a routine test just before the plane he was piloting was preparing to fly to Jakarta.
Identified only with the initials R.S., a subsequent search conducted by BNN officials discovered 5 grams of hashish in the pilot’s personal belongings. The pilot later admitted that he has been using the substance for the past three months.
The BNN has intensified drug screening programs nationwide for aircrews in the period preceding the busy Idul Fitri Holiday. The Ministry of Transportation projects that 5.5 million air passengers will travel over the holiday period – an increase of 9.8 percent over last year.
Lion Air apparently taken steps to dismiss the pilot.
Andy M. Saladin, a Lion Air spokesperson told the State News Agency Antara: “Company regulations firmly stipulate that any employee owning, consuming or trafficking narcotics would be dishonorably discharged.”
Drug use among Indonesian airline pilots remains a concern. In January of this year, a Citilink Indonesia acting in a highly inebriated manner was prevented from flying when passengers and fellow crew became alarmed by his incoherent behavior. That incident resulted in the dismissal of the pilot and the eventual resignation of the Airline’s CEO.