High co-pilot grounded

An American co-pilot was arrested at Schiphol this morning for planning to fly off intoxicated. Investigators say the pilot's breath alcohol content equaled 390 micrograms per liter of breath, more than 50% higher than the legal driving limit in the Netherlands.

Neither the name of the officer's employer, nor the destination of his flight was released.

According to police the 61-year-old man was held during alcohol tests performed from 6.00am to midday on flight personnel. Aviation regulations state that flight personnel are not allowed to consume alcohol up to 10 hours before takeoff. Some 630 people underwent the test; 300 were from KLM.

Police said the co-pilot who was busted was on his way to the cockpit of a foreign airline when he was asked to take the test. When it turned out that he had consumed too much alcohol, he was given a €6,500 fine, which he paid. Various news reports say he was not allowed to fly.