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Pilot grounded after testing positive for drugs: DGCA

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New Delhi, Aug 26:  A pilot of a prominent airline has been grounded from flight duty after he failed a drug test, aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said on Friday. This is the fourth such incident where an airline pilot was found positive after the rule for testing the flight crew and air traffic controllers for psychoactive substances came into force in January this year.

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The test is done for the flight crew and ATCs on a random basis. So far, four pilots and one Air Traffic Controller (ATC) have tested positive for psychoactive substances.

According to the official, a pilot of a prominent airline was subjected to the drug test in the national capital.

He was found positive in the confirmatory test report received on August 23 and has been removed from the flight duty, the official said.

As per the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR), in case the result of the confirmatory drug test is positive for the first time, then the personnel concerned will be referred to a de-addiction centre by the organisation concerned for de-addiction and rehabilitation.

If the same personnel tests positive for the second time, then his or her licence will be suspended for a period of three years. And if the violation happens for the third time, then the personnel's licence will be cancelled.

In the introduction to the CAR, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has mentioned that the worldwide spread of use of psychoactive substances, their general availability and the ever-increasing number of addicted users is a serious concern to aviation safety.

"Their use causes behavioural, cognitive and physiological changes. This manifests in dependence, major health related issues and negative effect on performance," it had said.

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