Why do Part 135 operators train their pilots to be supervisors in their Drug and Alcohol program?
- Sheila Wallace
Unlike other industries that require drug and alcohol testing, most pilots rarely go into the office. So, while on a trip, who is the supervisor that will report the appearance, behavior, speech, and smell that are usually associated with drug or alcohol use?
The company cannot require testing based on a hunch or guess alone; their suspicion must be based on observations. How can they do this in the office, 1000 miles from the individual who is on an assigned trip? Advanced Aircrew Academy suggests training crewmembers to be supervisors so that they too can request that a fellow employee performing safety-sensitive duties be tested while on the road. Reasonable suspicion means that one or more trained supervisors reasonably believes or suspects that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
So what training is required? Aviation employers who are required to test their employees performing safety-sensitive duties must implement initial and recurrent supervisory training for personnel who will determine when an employee is subject to testing based on reasonable cause.
All supervisors who must make reasonable suspicion testing determinations shall receive at least 60 minutes of initial training on the physical, speech, and performance indicators of probable drug abuse, and 60 minutes on alcohol misuse. Training content should cover the specific, contemporaneous, physical, behavioral, and performance indicators of probable drug abuse and alcohol misuse.
Employers shall also implement a reasonable recurrent training program for supervisors. The FAA generally agrees that the time length between recurrent training events is between 12 and 18 months.
Advanced Aircrew Academy has Drug and Alcohol Misuse Prevention training available for employees, supervisors, and administers of Drug and Alcohol programs.