Fri, Jun 23, 2006
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It's now a matter of law. The FAA
Thursday issued a long-awaited final ruling on alcohol and drug
abuse, under which a pilot who either refuses a drug or alcohol
test at the airport, or is found with a blood-alcohol content of
more than .04-percent, will lose his medical certificate.
The same rules would apply to air traffic controllers, as well.
The rule also standardizes the deadline for reporting positive
tests or refusals.
The changes go into effect July 21, 2006.
The new rules were met with opposition from the Air Line Pilots
Association. ALPA says one positive test does not an alcohol or
drug addict make.
The FAA states that before regaining medical certification for
flight, a pilot whose been revoked for drug or alcohol abuse must
enter rehabilitation and must demonstrate the ability to meet the
standards set out in FAR Part 67. Furthermore, a blood-alcohol
level of more than .04-percent must be reported to the FAA within
The new rules don't change the penalties for pilots who are
arrested for DUI or DWI. Even if it's unrelated to air travel, an
arrest for driving under the influence or driving while impaired
can still cost a pilot his ticket.
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