Pilot of Prominent Airline Fails Drug Test, DGCA Removes Him From Flight Duty

So far, four pilots and one Air Traffic Controller (ATC) have tested positive for psychoactive substances.

2 min read

A pilot of a prominent airline has been removed from flight duty after he failed a drug test, a senior Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official said on Friday, 26 August.

He is the fourth pilot to fail the drug test since the procedure for examination of aviation personnel for consumption of psychoactive substances came into effect from 31 January.

The test is done for the flight crew and Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) on a random basis.

So far, four pilots and one Air Traffic Controller (ATC) have tested positive for psychoactive substances. According to the official, a pilot of a prominent airline was subjected to the drug test in the national capital.


He was found positive in the confirmatory test report received on 23 August and has been removed from the flight duty, the official said. However, details about the airline or pilot were not disclosed.

What Happens to Personnel Who Test Positive for the Drug Test?

As per the Civil Aviation Requirement (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 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 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," it had said. Citing a study conducted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and a subsequent report published in February 2019, DGCA had said after alcohol, cannabis and opioids are the most commonly used psychoactive substances in India.

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