Apparently it’s safe to fly on Russian airlines now. Maybe. Or at least, it might become safe, if a new bill is passed.
According to Pravda Report (which is the official propaganda arm of the Kremlin, so take that as you will), a bill is being proposed to require alcohol and drug tests for pilots and flight control officers. The purpose of the bill is to “test the state of health of [sic] crew members of civil aircraft and air traffic controllers, to identify signs of alcohol, drugs, or other toxic substances, including residual effects.” The bill is set to be decided upon this spring; should the bill pass, exams will be administered prior to and after flights for the above workers mentioned.
While this may seem obvious, apparently being drunk and in charge of a plane is a common issue. And not one limited to Russia, Pravda reminds us. Pravda Report mentions the issues last summer, when United Airlines pilots were arrested in Scotland after a failed pre-flight exam proved their intoxication. In 2015, AirBaltic employees, pilots and flight attendants alike, were arrested for drinking prior to a departing flight, resulting in jail time for employees involved.
Actually, most airlines around the globe already administer some form of pre-flight exam, though these exams are not regulated or required by law. Some exams are as basic, like a visual inspection and pulse check.