An aviation crew member has been suspended by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, for testing positive to marijuana, PREMIUM TIMES has gathered.
The crew member, whose identity wasn’t revealed by the agency, tested positive during random alcohol and drug tests on licensed aviation personnel, conducted by the agency.
A statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Monday, signed by the General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, said the agency conducted the test in compliance with a directive from the Director-General, Muhtar Usman, after issuing a circular to stakeholders in the industry.
According to the NCAA , 87 personnel from Air Peace , Medview Airline and Air Traffic Controllers of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency were randomly tested as they were about to embark on flight operations and air traffic control duties.
The statement, however, said that out of the 10 pilots and 19 cabin crew from Air Peace Limited, nine pilots and 32 cabin crew members from Med -View Airline, and 10 licensed air traffic controllers and six trainees from the control tower and Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria Centre of NAMA, one crew member tested positive to a psychoactive substance , Tetrahydro-cannabinol, also known as marijuana.
The crew member, NCAA said, was immediately suspended from carrying out further flight operations, adding that further investigations were later carried out to ascertain the quantity of the substance in the urine sample of the crew member.
The crew member violated the provisions of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations, the statement said.
“The offending air crew has been suspended in accordance with the provisions of Part 2 . 11 . 1 . 8 (f) (i) and Part 2 . 11 . 1 . 7 (c ) of Nig . CARs 2015. His medical certificate and licence have been suspended for 180 days from the 5th day of April , 2017,” it added.
“Accordingly , the respondent shall cease to exercise the privileges of the licence for the period of his suspension.
“In addition, the crew member shall within seven days of receipt of the letter of sanction hand over his licence to the authority’ s director of licensing, and shall undergo a comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation for psychoactive substance abuse during the suspension period under the care of a consultant psychiatrist.”
According to the statement, the NCAA will continue to carry out consistent surveillance on the aviation industry to ensure full compliance with extant regulations, adding that failure will attract adequate sanction.
Meanwhile, the statement said the report of the consultant psychiatrist will be reviewed by its consultant psychiatrist adviser, adding that it would enable it to consider possible restoration of the suspended medical certificate and licence.