Crew tests positive to Marijuana, as NCAA conducts test on aviation personnel

 The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has conducted a random alcohol and drug tests on licensed aviation personnel in the industry.
However, out of the 87 personnel tested, only one crew member tested positive to 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.
Spokesman for NCAA, Sam Adurogboye in a statement said the exercise was in compliance to a directive from the Director General, Capt. Muhtar Usman.
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 the aviation industry on July 1 ,2016 by the authority.
A total of 87 of personnel from two airlines, Air Peace, Medview and Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) were tested.
They were randomly tested as they were about to embark on flight operations and air traffic control duties.
The NCAA stated that there were 29 pilots, 19 cabin crew from Air Peace Ltd while 42 pilots, 32 cabin crew were from Medview Airlines.
Others were from Air Navigation Service Providers, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), 16 of licensed Air Traffic Controllers and Trainees. 10 Licensed ATC and six trainees are from the Control Tower and Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) Centre.
Quite clearly, the regulatory body stated that the crew member violated the provisions of Part (a) and Part (3) of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs 2015).
NCAA has therefore sanctioned the offending aircrew in accordance with the provisions of Part (i) and Part of Nig.CARs 2015.
The Medical Certificate and License of the aircrew has been suspended for 180 days from April 5, 2017.
Accordingly, the respondent shall cease to exercise the privileges of the License for the period of his suspension.
In addition, the agency further stated that crew member shall within seven days of receipt of Letter of Sanction, hand over the License 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 License”.
Adurogboye noted that the random drug and alcohol tests for Licensed Aviation Personnel would 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 exercise was conducted by Medical Assessors from the Aeromedical Department of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
The NCAA stated that it would continue to carry out consistent surveillance on the aviation industry to ensure full compliance with extant regulations, adding that failure would however, attract adequate sanction.
Wole Shadare