Carsten Spohr, Lufthansa Group’s CEO, has not ruled out the possibility of subjecting pilots to random drug testing as part of a new policy in the wake of the Germanwings disaster in March.
In an interview with Germany’s FAZ, Spohr, himself a former Lufthansa pilot, explained that such a policy could help identify pilots who are on medications that may make them unfit to fly or otherwise identify medications that the pilots are on that they did not disclose as part of the medical evaluations. This would most likely include screening for alcohol and illegal drugs as well.
From what I gather from the interview and other sources, LH would not administer the drug test but would have an independent third party take care of the screening. It was suggested that this can be something that comes directly from the German government as a mandate for any of Germany’s airlines.
On many levels this makes common sense. Most employers already have policies in their employer-employee agreements that subject employees to random drug testing. If professional athletes and Olympians do it, shouldn’t an airline pilot?
Of course, there may be a very loud NO coming from the union that represents pilots who may construe this recommendation as an invasion of the pilot’s privacy.
I for one am in support of such a policy. If I, as a relatively benign portfolio manager am subject to random drug screening, a pilot should be subject to the same policy.
What are your thoughts? Yes or No for random drug screening for those we trust with our lives?