Colombo Telegraph

SriLankan Airlines’ Breathalyzer Test Controversy: Pilot Who Questioned Testing Procedure Found Guilty

SriLankan Airlines Captain Sujith Jayasekara who challenged the hurriedly imposed and tainted breathalyzer test procedure prior to his departure to Bangkok in August of 2016, has been found guilty at the end of the lengthy eight month inquiry, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns.

Captain Jayasekara

The national carrier hurriedly organized breathalyzer tests to be carried out on their pilots in August 2016. This is after Capt. Upendra Ranaweera was earlier found to be under the influence of alcohol in Frankfurt, which resulted in the airline incurring a massive loss despite inconveniencing hundreds of its passengers.

However whilst departing to operate his flight UL 402 to Bangkok in August of last year, Capt. Jayasekara noticing a blatant violation in the breathalyzer test procedure, questioned the airline’s security personnel about the legitimacy in which they were carrying out the test. At the conclusion of their conversation and with no breathalyzer test being conducted the pilots were permitted to proceed and operate their flight.

Subsequently much after the aircraft departed the security personnel then informed the airline’s management that the two pilots had refused to undergo a breathalyzer test.

During the process of the ongoing inquiry, the management of SriLankan Airlines convened a meeting with both the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka and the Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka and agreed on a legitimate breathalyzer test procedure which was subsequently enforced.

Meanwhile the Head of Flight Operations Capt.Rajind Ranatunga informed the Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka that the inquiry has now been concluded and that Capt. Sujith Jayasekara has been found guilty.

Quoting the Head of Flight Operations, the APGSL President Capt. Venura Perera sent in a letter to airline’s Chairman Ajith Dias, blaming the faulty breathalyzer test procedure that was implemented at the time.

Capt. Perera blamed Chairman Dias for maintaining double standards in his decision making process and demanded that Capt. Jayasekara be reinstated with immediate effect.

Prior to joining SriLankan Airlines, Capt. Sujith Jaysekara was a distinguished Air Force Pilot who received many awards for his bravery during the civil war. (Janaka Ranaweera)

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