This is the first instance in the country of an Air Traffic Controller (ATC) testing positive for a psychoactive substance after the rules for testing of flight crew and ATCs for psychoactive substances came into force in January 2022, they said.
3 Pilots of Different Airlines Found Positive
The Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) detailing the procedure for examination of the aviation personnel for consumption of psychoactive substances came into effect from 31 January. The test is done for the flight crew and ATCs on a random basis.
Since the rules were implemented, three pilots of different airlines have been found positive after the confirmatory test and are being dealt as per the provisions of DGCA regulations, the sources said.
As per the CAR, in case the result of the confirmatory drug test is positive for the first time, then the personnel concerned will be referred to a de-addiction centre by the organisation concerned for a de-addiction and rehabilitation.
If the same personnel tests positive for the second time, then his or her licence will be suspended for a period of three years. And if the violation happens for the third time, then the particular personnel's licence will be cancelled.
In the introduction to the CAR, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has mentioned that the worldwide spread of use of psychoactive substances, their general availability and the ever-increasing number of addicted users is a serious concern to aviation safety.
"Their use causes behavioural, cognitive and physiological changes. This manifests in dependence, major health related issues and negative effect on performance,"DGCA said
Citing a study conducted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the report published in February 2019, DGCA said that after alcohol, cannabis and opioids are the next commonly used psychoactive substances in India.