Zanzibar — Some members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives are asking the government to restrict single-pilot planes to protect public safety.
Several backbenchers led by Mr. Jaku Hashim Ayoub (CCM-Paje), said people flying in single-pilot planes are always at risk because in an emergency situation of being sick, chances of avoiding accidents are small.
"Spare a thought, you are in a plane with single plane, then he falls sick, probably stomach or headache, what is likely to happen? We ask the government to ensure that all planes have two pilots," backbenchers said.
They also appealed to the government to ensure frequent alcohol testing for pilots because some of them spend most of their time in night clubs drinking. "We meet some of them drinking at night yet the following day he is on duty.
This is unacceptable," Mr. Nassor Salim Ali (CCM-Kikwajuni), said while emphasizing that human being is more important than being afraid of costs to hire two pilots in every plane.
Responding to the concerns, deputy minister of Infrastructure, Communication and Transport, Mr. Mohamed Ahmad Mussa, said single-pilot planes are allowed by International Law. "We follow the International laws of aviation which allows single pilot planes weighing 5500kg.
It is safe and God is always with people travelling," Mr. Salum said, adding, "but airline operators are free to recruit two pilots instead of one in small plane. As regards to pilots who drink alcohol, the deputy Minister replied, "We cannot interfere in private life.
The aviation regulations are very clear; a pilot is prohibited to fly a plane within eight hours after drinking alcohol." He said responsible pilots who drink, observe the regulations that he/she not allowed operating a plane shortly after drinking and any person who doubts about pilot's alcohol status should report to respective authority and the pilot will be tested.