Employers in the aviation industry must comply with DOT/FAA’s Drug and Alcohol Testing regulations including DOT 49 CFR Part 40. In addition the specific agency regulation for FAA is 14 CFR Part 120. The summary highlights of 14 CFR Part 120 are as follows.
Covered employee: A person who performs flight crewmember duties, flight attendant duties, flight instruction duties, aircraft dispatch duties, aircraft maintenance or preventive maintenance duties; ground security coordinator duties; aviation screening duties; and air traffic control duties. Note: Anyone who performs the above duties directly or by contract for a part 119 certificate holder authorized to operate under parts 121 and/or 135, air tour operators defined in 14 CFR part 91.147, and air traffic control facilities not operated by the Government are considered covered employees.
Types of tests for drugs: Pre-employment, random, reasonable cause, post-accident, return to duty, and follow-up.
Types of tests for alcohol: Pre-employment (optional), random, reasonable suspicion, post- accident, return to duty, and follow-up.
Definition of accident requiring testing: Accident means an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, and in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or in which the aircraft receives substantial damage. Testing must occur if employee's performance either contributed to the accident or cannot be completely discounted as a contributing factor of the accident. The decision not to test an employee must be based on a determination, using the best information available at the time of the determination that the employee's performance could not have contributed to the accident.
Reasonable cause determination (drugs): Two of the employee's supervisors, one of whom is trained, shall substantiate and concur in the decision to test the employee. If the employer is not an air carrier operating under 14 CFR part 121 and has 50 or fewer employees, a single trained supervisor can make the determination. A trained supervisor makes the determination based upon specific contemporaneous physical, behavioral or performance indicators of probable drug use.
Reasonable suspicion determination (alcohol): One trained supervisor makes the determination based upon specific, contemporaneous, articulable observations concerning the employee's appearance, behavior, speech, or body orders.
Pre-duty alcohol use prohibitions: Eight (8) hours prior to performance of flight crewmember duties, flight attendant duties, and air traffic controller duties. Four (4) hours prior to performance of other duties.
Actions for BACs 0.02 - 0.039: If the employer chooses to return the employee to covered services within 8 hours, the BAC retest must be below 0.02.
Employee training (drugs): An employer must train all employees who perform safety- sensitive duties on the effects and consequences of prohibited drug use on personal health, safety, and work environment, and on the manifestations and behavioral cues that may indicate drug use and abuse. Employers must also implement an education program for safety-sensitive employees by displaying and distributing informational materials, a community service hot-line telephone number for employee assistance and the employer's policy regarding drug use in the work place which must include information regarding the consequences under the rule of using drugs while performing safety-sensitive functions, receiving a verified positive drug test result, or refusing to submit to a drug test required under the rule.
Employee training (alcohol): Employers must provide covered employees with educational materials that explain the alcohol misuse requirements and the employer's policies and procedures with respect to meeting those requirements. The information must be distributed to each covered employees and must include such information as the effects of alcohol misuse on an individual's health work, personal life, signs and symptoms of an alcohol problem; and the consequences for covered employees found to have violated the regulatory prohibitions.
Supervisor training (drugs): One-hour of training is required on the specific, contemporaneous physical, behavioral, and performance indicators of probable drug use. In addition, supervisors must receive employee training as defined above. Reasonable recurrent training is also required.
Supervisor training (alcohol): One-hour of training is required on the physical, behavioral, speech, and performance indicators of probable alcohol misuse.