NCAA suspends aircrew for testing positive for Indian hemp consumption

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has wielded the big stick by suspending a crew member of one of the airlines for six months and withdrawing the medical certificate and licence of the aircrew after he tested positive for taking Indian hemp

Spokesman for NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye said in a statement that the staff of an unnamed local airline was the only one out of 87 personnel from two airlines, Air Peace, Med-View Airline and Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) from the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) who were randomly tested.

“Out of the 87 personnel tested, only one crew member tested positive to (sic) psychoactive substance, tetrahydro-cannabinol (marijuana) and was immediately suspended by the Authority from carrying out further flight operations.

“Further investigations were later carried out to ascertain the quantity of the substance in the urine sample of the crew member.

“Quite clearly, the crew member violated the provisions of Part 2.11.1.7. (a) and Part 8.5.1.5(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 2.11.1.8(f) (i) and Part 2.11.1.7(c) of Nig.CARs 2015.

“The medical certificate and licence 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 licence for the period of his suspension.

“In addition, the crew member shall within seven days of receipt of letter of sanction, hand over the licence to the Authority’s Director of Licensing (DOL).

“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 licence,” said Adurogboye.

He said the random alcohol and drug tests on licensed aviation personnel in the industry were carried out in compliance with a directive from the director general of NCAA, Capt. MuhtarUsman.

He said 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 airlines and other service providers on July 1,2016.

They (aviation personnel) were randomly tested as they were about to embark on flight operations and air traffic control duties.

It was gathered that 10 pilots and 19 cabin crew members from Air Peace, nine pilots and 32 crew members from Med-View Airline, 16 licenced ATCs and trainees from NAMA, 10 licenced ATCs and six trainees from the control tower and TRACON centre were tested.

“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 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,” said Adurogboye.

 

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