FAA fines Allegiant Air for staff drug testing missteps

Allegiant in Trouble ImageAllegiant Air, a budget airline that competes with Southwest Airlines and Jet Blue, is expected to pay the Federal Aviation Administration fines of more than $260,000 for failing to include all of its employees in a random drug and alcohol testing pool, per FAA requirements. According to the FAA, 25 of Allegiant Air’s employees were not included in random screening pools, including employees whose jobs required on-the-job safety sensitivity, such as pilots, air traffic controllers, security workers and flight attendants. A statement on the FAA’s website said that 11 of those 25 employees performed their normal job functions even though they hadn’t been included in the drug testing pool. In addition, one employee had tested positive on a previous drug and alcohol test, and proper protocols were not followed regarding follow-up drug tests. The FAA and the Department of Transportation have guidelines in place regarding airline staff drug testing, including testing regulations for those who hold safety-specific positions. The DoT requires that, if an airline employee tests positive for drugs or alcohol, he or she must be monitored during follow-up drug tests. The employee in question was allowed to take the follow-up test unsupervised. “The safety of our passengers and crew is always our number one priority at Allegiant,” said Eric Gust, Allegiant’s Vice President of Safety and Security. “We are currently reviewing all of the records and events associated with the FAA allegation. However, our initial assessment is that the safety of our operation was not compromised.” The FAA is expected to meet with Allegiant Air representatives again in the coming weeks. photo credit: N872GA via photopin (license)]]>

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