…conducts alcohol/drug test on 87 personnel
By Sade Williams
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said it has suspended one crew member who tested positive to psychoactive substance, Tetrahydro – Cannabinol (Marijuana) while it was conducting a random alcohol and drug test on some aviation personnel.
The exercise was conducted by Medical Assessors from the Aeromedical Department of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on 87 aviation personnel.
Sam Adurogboye, spokesman for the Authority said further investigations were later carried out on the crew member to ascertain the quantity of the substance in his urine sample.
“Quite clearly, the crew member violated the provisions of Part 220.127.116.11. (a) and Part 18.104.22.168(a) (3) of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs 2015). NCAA has therefore sanctioned the offending aircrew in accordance with the provisions of Part 22.214.171.124(f) (i) and Part 126.96.36.199(c) of Nig.CARs 2015.
“The Medical Certificate and License of the aircrew has been suspended for 180 days from the 5th day of April, 2017. Accordingly, the respondent shall cease to exercise the privileges of the License for the period of his suspension”, he said.
He explained further that in addition, the crew member shall within 7 days of receipt of Letter of Sanction, hand over the License to the Authority’s Director of Licensing (DOL), adding that 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. This is to enable NCAA consider possible restoration of the suspended Medical Certificate and License”, he added.
Adurogboye said the random alcohol and drug tests on licensed aviation personnel in the industry was in compliance to a directive from the Director General, Capt. Muhtar Usman.
He said 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 1st July,2016 by the Authority.
A total number of 87 of personnel from two airlines, Air Peace, Medview and Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) were tested.
He said they were randomly tested as they were about to embark on flight operations and air traffic control duties.
He said of 29 personnel, comprising Pilots 10 and 19 Cabin crew were from Air Peace Ltd while 42 personnel comprising 9 Pilots and 32 Cabin crew were from Medview Airlines.
Others were from Air Navigation Service Providers, NAMA, including 16 licensed Air Traffic Controllers and Trainees, 10 Licensed ATC and 6 Trainees from the Control Tower and TRACON Centre.
He explained that the random drug and alcohol tests for Licensed Aviation Personnel will 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 Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) will continue to carry out consistent surveillance on the aviation industry to ensure full compliance with extant Regulations. Failure will however, attract adequate sanction”, he said.