Aviation and maritime safety strengthened

  • Craig Foss

Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss today announced the introduction of random testing in the commercial aviation and maritime sectors to help tackle drug and alcohol impairment.

By 2017, it will be mandatory for all commercial aviation and maritime operators to have drug and alcohol management plans, which must include random testing. The plans will have to be approved by either the Civil Aviation Authority or Maritime New Zealand.

“The explicit requirement for drug and alcohol management plans will ensure every operator is managing the risks appropriately,” Mr Foss says.

“Random testing, as part of a management plan, will further strengthen the culture of zero tolerance for drug and alcohol use in our transport sector.”

The Directors of Civil Aviation and Maritime New Zealand will also be given the power to authorise testing of safety sensitive staff.

The measures announced today are the result of a review prompted by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission’s report into the hot-air balloon crash near Carterton in January 2012. They align with the new Health and Safety at Work Act, due to come into force in April 2016, and build on increased requirements for adventure tourism operators, introduced in December 2012.

“The majority of aviation and maritime operators are embracing a safe and positive culture. These sectors should be applauded for the significant improvements made over the last few years. These measures will give passengers greater confidence and help make our skies and waterways safer for everyone,” Mr Foss says.

For more information: http://www.transport.govt.nz/ourwork/clear-heads/questions-and-answers