New Delhi: DGCA will now be able to detect whether your flight crew has consumed psychoactive substances like ganja, cocaine, hashish, MDMA, ecstasy, morphine/opiate or marijuana. The DGCA has introduced random drug testing to detect consumption of these substances. Director-General Civil Aviation Arun Kumar has ordered that a pilot, flight crew or air-traffic controllers (ATCO) testing positive for the substance abuse for the first time will be grounded and will be made to undergo a drug-deaddiction programme. In case of a second failure, the licence of the concerned official/staff will be cancelled.
The DGCA will ensure a zero-tolerance policy towards the consumption of psychoactive substances, an official of DGCA office said. According to the order, the aviation staff will be made to undergo these tests post-flight, for the crew and post-shift, for the ATCOs. The staff refusing for the test shall "shall be removed from the safety-sensitive duties until they clear detailed drug testing profile within a week, failing which the license of the involved person shall be suspended for three years".
These tests will be introduced in a phased manner. In phase 1, the testing will be carried out at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad airports by the DGCA authorized laboratory. The order further said that "Airlines and AAI (Airports Authority of India, which provides ATC services) shall ensure that at least 10% of (their flight crew and ATCOs) are covered in a year." All positive cases will be reported to DGCA within 24 hours.
Currently, the aviation staff has to go through the only breath-analyser (BA) test which is carried out to detect alcohol consumption. BA does not detect the consumption of psychoactive substances.