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NCAA suspends Crew Member over Marijuana

NCAA suspends Crew Member over Marijuana

A crew member from either Air Peace or Medview Airline has been suspended after a routine test found  he had marijuana in his system.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said the suspended crew member tested positive to psychoactive substance, Tetrahydro – Cannabinol (Marijuana).

The suspect was fished out when the agency conducted a random alcohol and drug tests on licensed aviation personnel in the industry yesterday.

Out of the 87 personnel tested, general manager, public affairs of NCAA, Sam Adurugboye said that 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.

He said that further investigations were later carried out to ascertain the quantity of the substance in the urine sample of the crew member.

“Quite clearly, 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,” Adurugboye said.

According to the Adurugboye, “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 crew member shall within 7 (seven) days of receipt of letter of sanction, hand over the license to the Authority’s director of licensing (DOL).” Adurugboye added that “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.”

Justifying the tests, Adurugboye said that the exercise was in compliance to a directive from the director- general, Capt. Muhtar Usman.

The general manager, in an official statement issued yesterday stated that the test 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.

According to him, a total of 87 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 random drug and alcohol tests for licensed aviation personnel will 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,” he added.

The exercise was conducted by medical assessors from the aeromedical department of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

NCAA emphasized that it would continue to carry out consistent surveillance on the aviation industry to ensure full compliance with extant regulations.

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