Flight crew, air traffic controllers will be tested for drugs like cannabis and cocaine from next year

Flight crew members and air traffic controllers will be tested by their employers for psychoactive substances such as cannabis and cocaine from January 31 next year, according to rules issued by the aviation regulator DGCA . “The worldwide spread of the consumption of psychoactive substances, their general availability and the ever increasing number of dependent users is a serious concern for aviation safety,” the regulation published on Monday said.

Airlines and air navigation service providers will be required to conduct random drug tests on at least 10% of the flight crew and air traffic controllers they employ annually, according to rules issued by the Directorate. General of Civil Aviation (DGAC).

The rules mentioned that commercial aircraft operators, maintenance and repair organizations, flight training organizations and air navigation service providers will be required to perform drug tests before employing a person or company. admit a trainee pilot.

These organizations will also have to test all aviation personnel – at the earliest available opportunity – who have refused a drug test to a foreign regulatory body during flight operations to that country, according to the rules.

All of the above mentioned aviation workers will be tested for the following psychoactive substances: amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine, opiates, barbiturates and benzodiazepines.

Whenever an aviation staff member is found positive for a drug test, the DGAC must be notified within 24 hours.

Companies in the aviation sector should encourage their employees to self-report regarding the use of psychoactive substances, the rules mentioned.

“These employees must undergo a process of rehabilitation by the organization before returning to active service. The number of these cases must be reported to the DGCA every six months,” said the regulation.

In the event that the report of a drug test is “non-negative”, the employee will be immediately removed from duty until a confirmation report is received, the rules mentioned.

If the confirmatory test – which is done for the first time – is also positive, then the employee will be referred to a drug rehab center by the organization for a drug rehab and rehabilitation program.

“Such an employee must return to active duties after having again been tested for the consumption of the psychoactive substance with a negative test report. declared.

If a staff member is found positive for a drug test for the second time while on the job, their license will be suspended for three years and it will be canceled if a staff member tests positive for the third time.

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