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NCAA To Withdraw License Of Pilots, Crew Found With Alcohol

Posted in Airline News, Cabin Crew News, Cockpit Crew NewsNo comments

In its bid to ensure safety of air passengers, any aviation personnel, particularly, pilots, cabin crew, air traffic controllers and maintenance engineers caught with alcohol or psychoactive agents will have his or her license withdrawn.

Harold Demuren, director general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) disclosed, yesterday, at a one day seminar on the effects of alcohol and drugs on aviation personnel.

To be able to monitor the personnel, the agency and other related agencies are to begin random on the spot testing of licensed personnel. The NCAA boss remarked that the nation is burdened with the reality of time, most especially on the decadence in the society, that will if not checked encroach into the safety-critical aviation industry.

“The effects of alcohol and substances of abuse ranges from changes in perception, thought and mood to physiological effects such as elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure and dilated pupils among others”, he held.

Demuren stated that Nigeria has reached a point where “we have to declare zero tolerance on the use of psychoactive agents by all aviation personnel”.

He said that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) licensing requirements for aircraft maintenance personnel, air traffic controllers, flight operations officers and aeronautical station operators as well as flight crews, specify that a license applicant shall have no established history or clinical diagnosis of alcoholism or drug dependence.

Speaking on the same issue, director, aero-medical standards of the NCAA, Teresa Bassey, stated that often times, the issue of alcoholism is “swept under the carpet” as individuals do not usually disclose that they indulge in taking illicit substances or that they are alcoholics.

“Air crews are aware as part of their training that it is wrong to indulge in the use of psychoactive substances. Drugs have side effects but not everyone accepts and admits that alcohol is a drug and that it has deleterious side effects”.

She stated that research has shown that personnel on safety sensitive jobs must not use certain medications because of side effects that may affect their ability to perform their tasks safely and efficiently.

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