…Conducts Alcohol, Drugs Tests On Aviation Personnel
Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended the Medical Certificate and License of a crew member who tested positive to psychoactive substance; Tetrahydro – Cannabinol (Marijuana) for 180 days effect from April,5 2017.
The crew member tested positive when the regulatory body conducted a random alcohol and drug tests on licensed aviation personnel in the industry.
He was the only personnel who tested positive to psychoactive substance of the 87 aviation personnel that were tested randomly by the regulatory body.
The General Manager, Public Affairs, NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, who disclosed this to journalists, explained that the crew member clearly violated the provisions of Part 18.104.22.168. (a) and Part 22.214.171.124(a) (3) of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs 2015).
He added that NCAA has therefore sanctioned the offending aircrew in accordance with the provisions of Part 126.96.36.199(f) (i) and Part 188.8.131.52(c) of NCARs 2015.
Adurogboye further explained that this exercise was in compliance to a directive from the Director General of NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman.
He said that the crew member was immediately suspended by the authority from carrying out further flight operations, adding that further investigations were later carried out on the crew member to ascertain the quantity of the substance in the urine sample of the crew member.
“Accordingly, the respondent shall cease to exercise the privileges of the license for the period of his suspension.
In addition, the crew member shall within seven days of receipt of Letter of Sanction, hand over the license to the authority’s Director of Licensing (DOL)”Adurogboye said.
He continued, “The aircrew shall undergo a comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation for psychoactive substance abuse during the suspension period under the care of a Consultant Psychiatrist. At the end, the report of the Consultant Psychiatrist shall be reviewed by the authority’s Consultant Psychiatrist Adviser to enable NCAA consider possible restoration of the suspended Medical Certificate and License.”
The NCAA spokesman stated that the random drug and alcohol tests for Licensed Aviation Personnel would be carried out periodically to rid the industry of menace of crew members and ATCs conducting flight operations under the influence of psychoactive substance which could jeopardise flight safety.
The exercise, he hinted was conducted by Medical Assessors from the Aero-medical Department of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
He assured that NCAA will continue to carry out consistent surveillance on the aviation industry to ensure full compliance with extant regulations, adding that failure will however, attract adequate sanction.
Adurogboye said that it was duly communicated in an Advisory Circular NCAA – AMS – 004 titled, “Drugs and Alcohol Policy for Air Operators Certificate Holders, Air Navigation Service Providers and other aviation stakeholders” issued to the aviation industry on July1,2016 by the Authority.
He further disclosed that a total of 87 personnel from two airlines; Air Peace, Medview and Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) were tested.
The NCAA image maker further explained that they were randomly tested as they were about to embark on flight operations and air traffic control duties.
Adurogboye said that a total of 29 personnel; comprising of 10 pilots and 19 Cabin crew from Air Peace Limited took part in the test while 42 Medview Airlines personnel; made up of nine pilots and 32 Cabin crew
Other personnel were from Air Navigation Service Providers, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) with 16; made up of 10 licensed ATCs and trainees and six trainees are from the Control Tower and the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria(TRACON) Centre.