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Mode Aviation
Reference No. AR201500075
Date reported 01 September 2015
Concern title Use of recreational drugs by the operator’s cabin crew
Concern summary

The concern related to the use of recreational drugs by flight crew and cabin crew and the inadequacy of the operator’s drug and alcohol training.

Industry / Operation affected Aviation: Air transport
Concern subject type Aviation: Cabin safety

Reporter's concern

The reporter expressed concern about the inadequacy of drug and alcohol management training provided by the operator.

The reporter is aware of numerous cases of cabin crew having their employment terminated over the past several years for either drug related incidents or failed drug tests.

Recently the reporter became aware of several incidents where cabin crew members had taken drugs during overseas layovers before signing on for duty.

The reporter believes that the company is aware of these drug related incidents, but management are doing nothing to prevent them. They are simply reacting to incidents when they occur, rather than proactively taking steps to prevent it.

The reporter feels that the 45-minute online Drug Alcohol Management Plan training package does little to prevent this issue. 

Operator's response (Operator 1)

We take the safety and welfare of our team members and passengers seriously and have a Drug and Alcohol Policy that applies to Cabin Crew and all other employees. We also have a Code of Conduct and other policies that complement our Drug and Alcohol Policy.

Cabin Crew members undergo training during the cabin crew induction training program around their obligations to comply with the Drug and Alcohol Policy and undertake a refresher program every 24 months.

The Policy provides for team members who perform safety sensitive work to undergo post incident testing as well as testing where there are reasonable grounds to suggest that a team member may be impaired or under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Cabin Crew members are also subject to random testing as part of CASA’s drug and alcohol testing program.

The Policy also provides a safe and supportive process for team members to self-refer and to seek treatment for drug or alcohol dependence.

Regulator's response (Regulator 1)

CASA will examine these matters further, requesting the airline to review the efficacy of their education programme, their approach and any cultural and reporting issues. CASA is also planning heightened monitoring of drug and alcohol management on international operations.

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Last update 20 November 2015