Home WORLD NEWS After 3 pilots, first air traffic controller fails dope test at Delhi airport

After 3 pilots, first air traffic controller fails dope test at Delhi airport

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NEW DELHI: An air traffic controller (ATCO) working at Delhi airport has failed the drug test and has been taken off duty as per rules. This is the first instance of an

ATCO

in India failing dope test since the country started conducting them on aviation personnel earlier this year. So far three pilots of Indian carriers have tested positive for using psychoactive substances.

“A confirmatory test was done on the ATCO posted at IGI Airport and that too turned out non-negative (as a positive report for dope test is called),” said a senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Three pilots and an ATCO have so far failed dope test since India started testing flight crew and air traffic controllers for psychoactive substance on a random basis starting January 31, 2022. While as per rules, aviation personnel failing dope test first time have to be sent for rehab and are then allowed to resume work with a negative dope test result and a fitness certificate, individual airlines and organisations are free to have their own policy like terminate them after they test non-negative for the first time.

Breath analyser (BA) tests to ensure aviation personnel are sober when they report for work are being conducted for several years. The DGCA had for the first time made dope tests mandatory for pilots, cabin crew and air traffic controllers earlier this year. At least 10 per cent of these personnel in an organisation have to undergo dope test annually.

Those failing second time, will have their license suspended for three years. And failing for third time will mean licence cancellation.

All the positive cases have to be reported to the DGCA within 24 hours of detection. A confirmation test will need to be done on those who test positive. The action on positive cases begins with taking that person off duty immediately till a confirmatory report is received. The drugs to be tested for include amphetamine and amphetamine-type stimulants; opiates and metabolites; cannabis (

marijuana

) as THC; cocaine; barbiturates and benzodiazepine.

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