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4 Answers

Random drug testing and travelling

Asked by: 3250 views , ,
FAA Regulations, General Aviation

Excuse the mundane question but I've googled many keywords and haven't found an answer.

These days I travel a lot. Once I get situated with becoming a crop duster (getting my license, training, and all the other good stuff), I plan to travel even more during the off season. How would I be taking the random drug tests the FAA(?) sends me? Let's say it's January 10th 2015 and I'm snowboarding in Patagonia Argentina and I'm called to do a test...on a second thought, do they even give drug tests with this job?

I'll gladly take the tests and pass them at any given moment, I'm curious as to when I have to take them.

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4 Answers

  1. Jim F. on Nov 05, 2012

    “I’m curious as to when I have to take them.” If anybody knew that, wouldn’t it defeat the purpose of them being called “random”???

    And I’ve never heard of anybody who isn’t in the airlines or was a previous offender who had a random drug test. And if they did conduct them, I’d bet they don’t send requests to people randomly, but rather somebody being ramp-checked who shows signs of being impaired.

    Judging by your previous post, I’d suggest you focus on actually getting your degree and license first, then worry about this hypothetical situation if/when it ever occurs.

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  2. Paul Tocknell on Nov 06, 2012

    I work for a private company as a corporate pilot (Part 91) and my position is deemed as safety sensitive within the organization. As such, I am subject to employee random drug screening test. In fact, the timing of this question is incredible because I was just picked yesterday for random drug screening.

    My situation is a little different because this screening has nothing to do with the FAA (although if I fail, I believe my employer would still be required to notify the FAA). My supervisor will make sure that I am at my home base and have the time to complete the test without delaying a flight.

    When I worked at the airlines, I never had a random drug test except at home base and again only when I had time to complete it.

    When you work for a crop duster, it will be their policy guidelines that will dictate when and how your tests will be conducted (in accordance with FAA or employee guidelines). I wouldn’t worry about getting tested while traveling personally out of the country, but I’m not one who would EVER have to worry about getting a positive test either. I knew friends at the airlines who seemed to always get “random” tested when returned from non-rev flights (personal travel) to Amsterdam.

    If you make it a policy to never use any illegal substance, it doesn’t really matter when you get tested, does it?

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  3. Brian on Nov 07, 2012

    I think the more interesting question now is: What if you live in Colorado? Legal in the state. Illegal federally. Talk about confusing.

    Of course there is a bit of sarcasm here. Though I’m interested to see how situations where someone engages in a legal activity on their private time, and then gets fired for it, will pan out in the coming years.

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  4. Matthew Waugh on Nov 13, 2012

    The FAA won’t send you a request for a random drug test. Your employer, following their approved program, will select you. Then they’ll either wait to notify you at a time that it is convenient for you to take the drug test, or more likely their program will let them pick somebody else.

    You won’t be selected for a drug test while you are on vacation (or at least you won’t be required to take one if you are selected).

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