March 26, 2023

In a primary in India, an air site visitors controller has failed a random drug check because the measures had been first launched in January this yr. Aviation personnel in India are being examined for psychoactive substances for months now, and some optimistic circumstances have come to mild. Whereas beforehand, pilots had failed the assessments, that is the primary time an ATC worker has examined optimistic for banned substances.

Faraway from obligation

An air site visitors controller at Delhi airport examined optimistic for a psychoactive substance and has been faraway from energetic obligation by India’s aviation regulator, the DGCA.


In keeping with experiences, the ATC worker at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Worldwide Airport (DEL) was subjected to a random check, which got here out optimistic. A secondary check additionally confirmed the outcomes on August 18th.

A Delhi airport ATC worker has been faraway from energetic obligation after failing drug check. Picture: New Delhi Airport

The incident comes not too lengthy after two pilots had been suspended in July for failing drug assessments. The DGCA didn’t reveal the names of the pilots or the airways, citing the matter’s sensitivity however ordered them to go to a rehab facility.

It was additionally made clear that they might be capable of return to energetic obligation after receiving a health certificates from the airline physician. The Delhi air site visitors controller is anticipated to undergo the identical process.

Strict pointers

India maintains stringent pointers relating to alcohol consumption for aviation workers. The DGCA permits zero alcohol ranges within the blood of airplane crew earlier than a flight. It additionally mandates 12 hours of hole between flying an plane and the consumption of an alcoholic beverage.

From January 2022, the regulator launched an extra check, which requires random testing of personnel for psychoactive substances. The foundations state that airways and air navigation service suppliers should randomly check at the very least 10% of the flight crew and air site visitors controllers.

The DGCA launched a drug check in January 2022. Picture: Getty Pictures

These pointers additionally apply to flight colleges that should check trainee pilots earlier than admitting them. The choice to implement the rule was made final yr when the DGCA chief Arun Kumar commented,

“The worldwide unfold of use of psychoactive substances, their basic availability and the ever-increasing variety of addicted customers is a critical concern to aviation security.”


The brand new check covers amphetamine and amphetamine-type stimulants, opiates and metabolites, hashish, cocaine, barbiturates, and benzodiazepine. In case an worker is discovered optimistic, the employer should inform the DGCA inside 24 hours. Any optimistic check will probably be confirmed by a second check.

The drug check covers a number of psychoactive substances. Picture: Getty Pictures

A personnel testing optimistic for the primary time will probably be referred to a specialist physician or rehabilitation program. The worker can return to obligation solely after assembly particular parameters and, after all, a damaging check.

A second-time violation will see the personnel lose their aviation license for 3 years, and a 3rd optimistic check will outcome within the everlasting cancellation of the license.

What do you’re feeling about DGCA’s drug testing coverage? Please go away a remark under.

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