The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended a pilot for the use of psychoactive substance, Tetrahydro – Cannabinol (Marijuana).
The pilot was discovered to have tested positive to the substance after a random testing was conducted on pilots and cabin crew before embarking on a flight.
Spokesman for the NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye in a statement said the Medical Certificate and License of the pilot has been suspended for 180 days and ceases to exercise the privileges of the License for the period of his suspension.
He added that within 7 (seven) days of receipt of Letter of Sanction, he is expected to hand over his License to the Authority’s Director of Licensing (DOL) as he immediately undergo a comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation for psychoactive substance abuse during the suspension period under the care of a Consultant Psychiatrist.
The statement indicates that after his rehabilitation, the report of the Consultant Psychiatrist will be reviewed by the Authority’s Consultant Psychiatrist Adviser to enable the NCAA consider possible restoration of the suspended Medical Certificate and License.
“This exercise was in compliance to a directive from the Director-General, Captain 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”.
The random drug testing was conducted on 87 personnel from two airlines, air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).
” the airlines are 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.
There were 29 (nos) Pilots 10 and Cabin crew 19 from Air Peace Ltd while 42 (nos) Pilots 9 and Cabin crew 32 were from Medview Airlines.
Others were from Air Navigation Service Providers, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), 16 (nos) of licensed Air Traffic Controllers and Trainees. 10 (nos) Licensed ATC and 6 (nos) Trainees are from the Control Tower and TRACON Centre”.
The random drug and alcohol tests for Licensed Aviation Personnel which was carried out at the instance of theDirector General, Captain. Muhtar Usman is to be carried out periodically to rid the industry of the menace of crew members and ATCs conducting flight operations under the influence of psychoactive substance which could jeopardise flight safety.
The statement added that the “Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) will continue to carry out consistent surveillance on the aviation industry to ensure full compliance with extant Regulations. Failure will however, attract adequate sanction”.