Air traffic controller in Delhi tests positive for psychoactive substance
An air traffic controller (ATCO) posted at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi was taken off duty after he failed a drug test. He is the first ATCO to test positive for a psychoactive substance, a senior Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official said. Earlier, three pilots failed the randomized test since it was enforced from the beginning of this year.
- This comes at a time when several airlines have been dealing with security-related incidents and technical glitches under investigation by DGCA.
- India is the third-largest domestic aviation market in the world and is set to overtake the UK by 2024.
- In July, the Civil Aviation Ministry stated that at least 478 technical snags were reported last year.
Per rules, personnel failing the test for the first time would be sent to rehab and allowed to resume work after a negative test result and a fitness certificate. Failing the test twice will result in a three-year suspension. The third time leads to the cancellation of the personnel's license. Individual airlines are free to terminate the personnel at the first instance itself.
Before the dope test was brought in place, for several years breathalyzer tests were conducted to ensure if the person reporting were sober. The tests were enforced from January 22 this year for pilots, cabin crew, and air traffic controllers. The personnel is tested for amphetamine and amphetamine-type stimulants such as opiates and metabolites, THC, cocaine, barbiturates, and benzodiazepine.
Earlier this month in Delhi, SpiceJet fliers were left unattended on the tarmac for 45 minutes. In July, a Delhi-bound IndiGo flight had made an emergency landing at Patna airport when a passenger claimed to have a bomb in his bag. It later turned out to be a hoax. In June, a Delhi-bound SpiceJet flight from Patna caught fire.