MINNEAPOLIS — An airport spokesman tells FOX5 a pilot was removed from an American Eagle flight Friday morning and taken into custody at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol.
The arrest of Kolbjorn Jarle Kristiansen, 48, happened as American Eagle Flight 4590 was preparing to take off from Minneapolis-St. Paul International for LaGuardia Airport in New York.
Officers and a Transportation Security Administration agent “detected the odor of a consumed alcohol beverage as they passed by Kristiansen waiting to enter the elevator,” according to a Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport Police Department report.
A spokesman confirmed MSP Airport police took the pilot into custody at 7:19 a.m. ET.
The pilot failed a breathalyzer at the scene, but was taken to Fairview Southdale hospital to test for blood alcohol content.
“American Eagle has a well-established substance abuse policy that is designed to put the safety of our customers and employees first,” the airline said in a statement to FOX5. “We are cooperating with authorities and conducting a full internal investigation. The pilot will be withheld from service pending the outcome of the investigation.”
Fifty-three passengers were scheduled to be on board the Bombardier CRJ700 regional jet for the flight, however, none of them were on board at the time of the arrest.
CNN also contributed to this report.
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