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New Zealand Pilots’ support effective measures to reduce the risks of alcohol and drug impairment in Aviation

The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association (NZALPA) supports effective programs to ensure passengers and crew are protected from any ill effects of drug and alcohol issues in the aviation industry.

NZALPA is a foundation party to the aviation industry substance abuse recovery programme, HIMS (Human Intervention Motivation Study).  The HIMS programme provides active assistance and direction to ensure any member identified with drugs and alcohol dependency issues has treatment and time off whilst in recovery. It is a cooperative body including airlines, the NZ CAA (Civil Aviation Authority), aviation substance abuse specialists and union groups.

All major airline carriers and air traffic control in New Zealand already carry out drugs and alcohol testing programs within their organisations.  Testing programs typically include:

  • Pre-employment testing
  • Reasonable cause testing (suspicion)
  • Post accident/incident testing
  • Random testing

Drugs and alcohol testing already forms part of the system to protect the traveling public from substance abuse issues in aviation, but it is only a fraction of a much larger picture to effectively manage such issues. Whilst reasonable cause testing has shown to be anecdotally effective, there is no evidence to show random testing of pilots or air traffic controllers is effective in protecting public safety.

NZALPA welcomes the Government’s announcement of mandatory drug and alcohol management plans for every operator, and supports greater emphasis on identification and treatment of substance dependency issues within the aviation industry, rather than just drug and alcohol testing alone. 

For further information

Please contact

Herwin Bongers

NZALPA Medical and Welfare Director

027 443 7946

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