From the 1st February 2022, the United Kingdom initiated alcohol testing on flight crew and cabin crew members in accordance Article 4 of UK Regulation (EU) No.965/2012 (the Air Operations Regulation) as retained (and amended in UK domestic law) under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.
UK Statutory Instrument 2021 No. 1203 (the Aviation Safety (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2021) introduced changes to UK Regulation (EU) No. 965/2012 (the Air Operations Regulation) to support the implementation of the requirements by introducing a new regulation under ARO.RAMP.106 Alcohol Testing which sets out the requirements for the CAA to conduct such tests during RAMP inspections
Alcohol tests are carried out by Ramp Inspectors in accordance with the Ramp Inspection Program as defined in UK Regulation (EU) No. 965/2012, Annex II, Part ARO.RAMP
All alcohol tests will be performed with an approved breath alcohol analyser compliant with the standard EN 15964 and conducted in accordance with AMC1 ARO.RAMP.106.
The breath alcohol concentration (BrAC), measured during the alcohol test, should not exceed a level equivalent to 0.2 grams of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) per litre of blood.
Every positively tested crew member will be:
- Prohibited from performing his/her duty on the aircraft flight
- Notified to the police as appropriate
- Reported to competent aviation authorities
- Licensing authority
- State of operator
Any refusal to undertake or lack of cooperation during an alcohol test will lead to that the person will be prohibited from performing his/her further duties on the flight in question.
Who we test
Only flight crew and cabin crew members with an assigned operational duty may be subject to an alcohol test.
The crew size may justify a sampling of the crew in order to avoid unreasonable delay.
A non-discriminatory sampling method could be used by the inspector but may focus on flight crew members as their assigned duties are usually more critical for the conduct of the flight.
Every alcohol test will consist of an initial alcohol test followed by a confirmation test in case of an initial positive result.
The confirmation test will be carried out as soon as possible after a waiting time of at least
15 minutes. This waiting time should normally be shorter than 30 minutes to ensure a similarity of results between initial and confirmation test.
During this waiting time, the tested flight crew or cabin crew member will not be allowed to ingest any food. She/he will be able to continue its duty only if it doesn’t affect the correct application of the testing procedure.
The positively tested crew member will receive a written confirmation containing information on the time and date of the alcohol test, the equipment used, as well as the actual result of the alcohol test.
Privacy and confidentiality
Every alcohol test will respect privacy and confidentiality of results.
Tested crew members can request a witness to attend the test as far as it does not cause unreasonable delay and that it is compatible with the testing procedure.
The operator and its competent authority are informed about all alcohol tests through the ramp inspection reports in the ramp inspection tool; these reports do not hold personal data. In case of a positively tested crew member, detailed test results and personal data of the concerned crew member are provided to the competent authorities through the focal point appointed by them, using other channels than the ramp inspection tool.
‘cabin crew member’: an appropriately qualified crew member, other than a flight crew or technical crew member, who is assigned by an operator to perform duties related to the safety of passengers and flight during operations.
‘flight crew member’: a licensed crew member charged with duties essential to the operation of an aircraft during a flight duty period.
All personal data is processed in compliance with the United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data.
The latest relevant maintenance document of the testing device is available on request.