Pubdate: Wed, 14 April 1999
Source: Japan Times (Japan)
See also: Stewardess fired for drinking water
Airlines OK cockpit smoking
If abstaining threatens safety then light up, pilots told
OSAKA--The nation's two major airlines have told their pilots they should
refrain from smoking in the cockpit, but the practice may be permitted
if nonsmoking poses a threat to safety, the two carriers said Tuesday.
Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways have notified their employees that
the cockpit is a nonsmoking area in principle, but the ban can be waived
in case safety is at stake, JAL and ANA officials said. The measure
applies to both international and domestic flights.
The two airlines circulated a memo to this effect after banning passengers
from smoking on all international flights.
JAL's in-house memo says, ``Smoking can be permitted in the cockpit if
prolonged abstinence from smoking could pose safety problems."
ANA's memo, noting that crew members, because of the nature of their
occupation, are exposed to mental stress, says ``(The nonsmoking rule)
will not apply in cases in which smoking would have to be permitted
for safety reasons."
The two carriers said such cases are exceptional, but admitted that
whether smoking can be permitted in the cockpit is up to the captain.
A nonsmoking crew member said, ``I cannot insist that a pilot who is
responsible for a safe landing refrain from smoking if his hands are
shaking badly enough to pose a danger to all aboard. Basically, though,
we should do our utmost not to smoke because it is our moral obligation,
given that the passengers are not allowed to smoke."
JAL banned smoking by passengers on international flights from April 1,
three days after ANA implemented a similar ban. Smoking by passengers
had already been banned on domestic flights of JAL, ANA, Japan Air
System and Air Nippon.
The measure taken by the airlines follow a recent trend by North American
and European carriers to curb smoking.
The nonsmoking rule introduced by JAL and ANA on their international
flights means seats on all their international flights departing from
Japan are now nonsmoking.
April 14, 1999