1 min read.Updated: 25 Aug 2021, 07:16 PM ISTRhik Kundu
According to the draft regulation, all scheduled commercial aircraft operators and air navigation service providers shall carryout, random drug testing for the consumption of psychoactive substances of flight crew members and air traffic controllers employed by them respectively at the facilities established by them using the services of an appropriate laboratory
NEW DELHI :
In a first of its kind, the Indian civil aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has released a draft procedure for examination of aviation personnel and crew members, for consumption of psychoactive substances, and sought comments from stakeholders over the next 30 days before implementing them as regulation.
At present, aviation personnel are examined by breath analysers to check alcohol content in their bodies before commencing on flight duties.
According to the draft regulation, all scheduled commercial aircraft operators and air navigation service (ANS) providers shall carryout, random drug testing for the consumption of psychoactive substances of flight crew members and air traffic controllers employed by them respectively at the facilities established by them using the services of an appropriate laboratory.
"The medical personnel of the concerned organization shall associate during this process. This programme shall ensure that at least 5% of the employees of an organization, as mentioned in para 4.1 of the Civil Aviation Requirements, are covered in a year," it added.
A copy of the draft regulation has been reviewed by Mint.
The draft regulation also encourages airlines, air navigation service (ANS) providers, and flight training organizations (FTO) to conduct random drug testing of their employees and trainee pilots.
Airlines, ANS providers, and FTOs will also need to ensure that flight crew member, air traffic control officers, aircraft maintenance engineers, certifying staff, trainee pilots, instructors and examiners are tested for detection of drug abuse, drug dependence and addiction before employment, and follow up testing of confirmed cases.
All positive cases will have to be reported to DGCA headquarters within 24 hours and employees with positive cases shall be subjected to a rehabilitation process by the organization before returning to active duty.
The testing process will include psychoactive substances like amphetamine, methamphtamine, cannabis, cocaine, opioids, barbiturates, benzodizipine and MDMA/ecstasy, DGCA said in the draft document.
"Testing will be done on urine samples collected from the randomly selected employees," DGCA said.
"In case the screening test is positive, the employee shall be immediately removed from the safety sensitive duty till a confirmatory report is received," it said adding that in case a person refuses for the test on second occasion or is tested positive after first occasion of refusal for testing, his or her license shall be suspended for a period of three years and any subsequent violation shall lead to the cancellation of license.
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