Pilot's drug test may be a false reading: AirAsia

AirAsia Indonesia CEO Sunu Widyatmoko confirmed Thursday that one of his airline's pilots had tested positive for drug use, however, he stated that the test result could be related to the pilot's recent discharge from hospital.

The pilot, with initials FI, tested positive for morphine after being subjected on Thursday to a random urine test conducted by the Transportation Ministry in Bali following the AirAsia flight QZ8501 accident.

"After interviewing the pilot, we found that he had recently been discharged from hospital after being treated for typhus. On the day of his drug test, he was still taking prescribed medication, one of which was [a cough medicine] Actifed," Sunu said on Thursday, as quoted by kompas.com.

Sunu said that the prescription medication may have triggered a false reading and that AirAsia would conduct further tests on the pilot.

According to the airline, FI was regarded as having an excellent track record and had worked for nine years with the airline.

FI has been temporarily grounded and will be subject to further tests from the Transportation Ministry's aviation health division.

The drug test was conducted after FI had landed an AirAsia flight from Jakarta to Denpasar.