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11 December 2023

GCAA implements Alcohol Testing Programme at all civil airports

Photo: WAM


The General Civil Aviation Authority, GCAA, has been successfully carrying out alcohol tests at all civil airports in the UAE as part of the safety procedures, according to senior officials.

"The Alcohol test further compliments the GCAA’s risk based approach to control any such occurrences of foreign aircraft flight crew operating under the influence of alcohol, in UAE airspace," said Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the General Civil Aviation Authority. He reiterated the GCAA's commitment to enhancing safety.

Ismaeil Mohammed Al Blooshi, Assistant Director General, Aviation Safety Affairs Sector at the GCAA, said, "When a particular flight is selected for alcohol testing, the pilots reporting for duty will be subject to breathalyser tests. Pilots found to exceed an alcohol limit of 0.02 grams (20mg) will not be permitted to fly."

"This limit has been determined based on international best practices. It is equivalent to a ‘zero tolerance’ standard, with a small allowance for the potential presence of alcohol in the breath, due to other factors such as medication or mouthwash," he added.

‏The officials said that since the initiation of Alcohol Testing in 2018, the testing is being carried out on a planned and random basis. The industry is well aware of this procedure. The flight crew from different operators are being tested.

A total of 22 tests have been carried out, and where necessary enforcement actions are being taken against the violators, they said.