2 Indian Pilots Fail Random Drug Assessments by the DGCA

Dope testing is a necessary step to make sure pilots are in the perfect place to fly and to guard the protection of the general public. The Indian aviation business has been busy this yr to insure Indian carriers are sustaining a suitable customary of security on a regular basis. Their newest strikes concerned the working of random drug testing.

Testing started on 31 January and turned up no alarm till late final week, when two pilots have develop into the primary to fail the checks.

Crunch time

Some could also be shocked that India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate Common of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has solely not too long ago begun obligatory random flight crew and air visitors controllers testing for psychoactive substances.

From thirty first January this yr, the DGCA started random dope checks, which check for medication akin to amphetamine and amphetamine-type stimulants, opiates and metabolites, hashish, cocaine, barbiturates, and benzodiazepine. All of which may have an effect on a person’s capacity to conduct their job, no matter it could be, appropriately.

Those that fail the check (by testing optimistic) are to be reported to the DGCA inside 24 hours of the optimistic check. A second check would additionally should be taken for affirmation. Then, the DGCA will instantly droop the people in query till a confirmatory report is acquired.

That is the destiny the 2 pilots who failed their drug check confronted, as confirmed by the DGCA:

“The 2 pilots failed the dope check within the final 4-5 days. Per protocol, their urine samples underwent a confirmatory check after the preliminary optimistic check. The samples have been despatched overseas for the affirmation check. Attributable to sensitivity and privateness points and the stigma hooked up, the id of the pilots and the 2 distinguished Indian airways they work for isn’t being disclosed.”

IndiGo A321neo
IndiGo is India’s largest airline by passengers carried and fleet dimension. | © livefromalounge.com

What occurs subsequent?

Contemplating the truth that that is the primary time the 2 pilots have failed random testing, they’re to be despatched for rehabilitation. The 2 pilots will solely be capable of return to energetic flight responsibility as soon as they’ve efficiently accomplished their rehab programme, they produce a destructive drug check and an acceptable health certificates from their airline physician.

If the pilots fail their check a second time following rehabilitation, the DGCA could have their license suspended for 3 years. A 3rd offence would end result of their license being cancelled.

Air India B77-200LR
Air India is India’s nationwide flag provider. | © airlinesfleet.com

Regarding traits…

The 2 pilots have been the primary to fail the DGCA’s random drug checks, however that doesn’t imply regarding traits haven’t been cropping up on account of common present security checks on personnel.

Between January and April this yr, 9 pilots and 32 cabin crew failed their pre-flight alcohol checks for the primary time. It was, for almost all, their first offense so that they have been suspended for 3 months. For 2 pilots and two cabin crew, it was their second, so that they have been suspended for 3 years.

It may be assumed that there’s a rising downside inside the Indian aviation business that may solely worsen with time if not focused and stamped out. Already, India’s whole variety of alcohol check failures is near final yr’s whole of 59 – 19 of which being pilots.

Pilots in a cockpit
It is crucial for pilots to be alert and utterly competent when flying with out the disruption brought on by medication and alcohol. | © Blake Guidry / Unsplash

However India does have already got one of many strictest alcohol limits for airline crew because the DGCA solely accepts zero alcohol ranges within the blood of pilots and cabin crew earlier than a flight, and needs 12 hours between consuming alcohol and flying and plane.

That is stricter than the U.S Federal Aviation Administration, which accepts a most of 0.04% alcohol focus within the blood or breath and recommends a most of 8 hours between consuming alcohol and flying (however prefers a 24-hour hole).

However airways can impose their very own guidelines – United Airways needs for his or her pilots and cabin crew to chorus from ingesting alcohol at the least 12 hours earlier than work begins.

United Airlines
United Airways operates a big home and worldwide community. It is likely one of the main carriers in the USA. | © Reuters

The EASA (European Aviation Security Company) says that blood alcohol focus shouldn’t be above 0.02%.

What do you make of this troubling information from India’s aviation business? Is there extra that may very well be accomplished? Remark beneath to share your ideas.


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