Sep 22, 2008

Alcohol and Drug Testing for the Aviation Industry

Alcohol and Drug Testing for the Aviation Industry

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

September 22 2008

New regulations requiring random alcohol and drug testing of Australia’s 120,000 aviation workers comes into force today.

The Government is serious about aviation safety. The introduction of drug and alcohol testing will make an already safe industry even safer. It will also align the aviation industry with other sensitive sectors such as rail, maritime and mining.

The new regulations give aviation organisations, such as airlines and maintenance companies, six months to put in place detailed drug and alcohol management plans covering pre-employment testing, reasonable suspicion testing and post-accident testing, as well as education, training and rehabilitation.

The regulations cover pilots, engineers, cabin crew, flight instructors, re-fuelers, dispatchers, load controllers, baggage handlers, air traffic controllers and even Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) staff that perform duties airside.

Under the new regime, it is an offence for people working in aviation safety roles to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

CASA will administer the new program, with the aim of starting random testing before the end of the year.

CASA has worked closely with the aviation industry, drug and alcohol experts and employee representatives to ensure the testing regime is fair and effective.

I would like to thank the aviation industry for getting behind the program and I urge all those involved to continue their support as the testing is rolled out later this year.

CASA has launched a nation-wide education campaign – including guidance material, training days and workshops – for people in the aviation industry, as well as a dedicated web site.

Additional information is available online at: www.casa.gov.au/aod.