CAA starts alcohol testing of flight and cabin crew

The Civil Aviation Agency has established a system for alcohol testing performed on flight and cabin crew members of national and foreign air carriers.

Alcohol testing

The breath alcohol concentration (BrAC), measured during the alcohol test, should not exceed a level equivalent to 0.2 grams of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) per litre of blood.

When the crew member is tested positive he/she will be:

  • Removed from duty
  • subjected to procedure in accordance with the rules
  • Reported to competent aviation authorities
    • Licensing authority
    • State of operator

Any refusal or lack of cooperation during an alcohol test will be regarded as a positive case.

Who may be subjected to testing

Only flight crew and cabin crew members with assigned operational duty may be subjected to an alcohol testing.

The sampling method should be non-discriminatory but may focus on flight crew members as their assigned duties are usually more critical for the conduct of the flight.

A robust procedure

Every alcohol test shall consist of an initial alcohol test followed by a confirmation test in case of an initial positive result.

The confirmation test will be carried out as soon as possible after a waiting time of at least 15 minutes. This waiting time should usually be shorter than 30 minutes to ensure a similarity of results between initial and confirmation test.

During this waiting time, the tested flight crew or cabin crew member will not be allowed to ingest any food. She/he will be able to continue its duty only if it does not affect the correct application of the testing procedure.

All alcohol tests will be performed with an approved breath alcohol analyser compliant with the standard EN 15964.

The crew member who is tested positive will receive a written confirmation containing information on the time and date of the alcohol test, the equipment used, as well as the actual result of the alcohol test.

Privacy and confidentiality

Every alcohol test shall respect privacy and confidentiality of results.

Tested crew members can request a witness to attend the test as far as it does not cause unreasonable delay and that it is compatible with the testing procedure.

The operator and its competent authority are informed about all alcohol tests through the ramp inspection reports in the data base; these reports do not hold personal data. In case that the crew member is tested positive, detailed test results and personal data of the relevant crew member are provided to the competent authorities through the focal point appointed by them, using other channels beside the data base.