10 Feb 2016

Aviation industry to face drug tests

4:12 pm on 10 February 2016

The government has decided to impose random drug and alcohol testing of people in commercial aviation and the maritime industry.

Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss said by 2017 all commercial aviation and maritime operators must have drug and alcohol management plans.

The plans have to approved by either the Civil Aviation Authority or Maritime New Zealand.

The measures are the result of a review prompted by a report by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission into the hot-air balloon crash, near Carterton, in January 2012.

The pilot in that accident was found to have traces of cannabis in his blood.

The new rules align with the new Health and Safety at Work Act, due to come into force in April, and build on increased requirements for adventure tourism operators, introduced in December 2012.