The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has announced with immediate effect the suspension of five crew members who tested positive for marijuana during a multi-drug screening conducted on participants of the cabin crew training basic course, 30 (CCTB-30).
The crew members were detected during their training at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria.
A statement by the General Manager of Public Affairs at the NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, said that the step was in furtherance of its heightened safety oversight of the industry.
Mr. Adurogboye hinted that upon receipt of the test result from NCAT Zaria where they were enrolled for training, the NCAA issued a letter of investigation to the involved crew members and they responded.
The authority accordingly considered their responses after it had been duly established that they all tested positive for Tetra Hydro Cannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana.
“This is a substance deemed under Part 188.8.131.52. of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig. NCARs) 2015 to be a psychoactive substance which made the defaulters disoriented and thereby violated Part 184.108.40.206 (b) (2) (a) (ii) of the Nig. NCARs 2015," the statement said.
“Consequent upon the findings, the defaulted crew members no longer meet the requirements for the issuance of a Cabin Crew licence.”
He emphasized that in the light of the above and in accordance with the provision of Part 220.127.116.11 (f) (i) of the Nig. NCARs 2015, the NCAA resolves to suspend their medical certificates for a period of 180 days from the date of receipt of the NCAA letter to them and to put on hold the processing of their initial cabin crew license
The NCAA further stated that the offending cabin crew members would repeat the examination, but would not be issued the cabin crew license until they are successfully rehabilitated and re-issued the medical certificate.
Mr. Adurogboye declared that the NCAA has mandated the suspended cabin crew members to undergo rehabilitation for psychoactive substance abuse under the strict supervision of a consultant psychiatrist at designated medical centers forthwith.
He maintained that at the end of the rehabilitation exercise, a report is expected to be forwarded in strict confidence by the medical center to the NCAA for consideration of re-issuance of their medical certificates in accordance with the provisions of Part 18.104.22.168 (a) of the Nig. NCARs 2015.
Mr. Adurogboye insisted that the authority expected strict compliance by the suspended crew members without which their medical certificates would not be issued and further assured the traveling public that the NCAA is very detailed in its oversight activities over the industry in the interest of safer skies in Nigeria and violations are viewed seriously.