Airline staff to face random dope tests | India News

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NEW DELHI: For the first time, India has proposed to conduct dope tests randomly on pilots, cabin crew and air traffic controllers (ATCOs). Aspiring pilots may be required to undergo tests for psychoactive substances before getting admission to a flying school.
If an aviation personnel tests positive for the second time it could lead to suspension of licence for three years and a third time positive test could mean cancellation of licence.
The drugs to be tested for include amphetamine, methamphtamine, cannabis, cocaine, opioids, marbiturates, benzodizipine and MDMA or ecstasy. Flight crew members and other key aviation personnel in operations are mandatorily subjected to breath tests to ensure they are not intoxicated when reporting for work.
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief Arun Kumar, on Wednesday, issued a draft rule on ‘procedure for examination of aviation personnel for consumption of psychoactive substances’ that will soon be finalised and made mandatory for airlines and airport operators. At least 5% crew members of airlines and ATCOs will need to be subjected to random tests every year. The regulator has also ‘encouraged’ maintenance and repair organisations and flying training organisations (FTO) to conduct these random tests on trainee pilots.
An ATCO or flight crew member refusing to undergo this test shall have to undergo a test within three days. Failing this, his or her licence “shall be suspended for a period of one year and the involved person shall undergo rehabilitation process before return to the active duties.” Testing will be done on urine samples collected from the randomly selected employees.

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