The union representing the
UK’s pilots has opposed plans by BA to introduce drink and drug testing for
The British Airline
Pilots’ Association, which represents nearly 8,000 flight crew, believes a peer
pressure policy where pilots and flight crew confront and support colleagues
who have a drink or drug problem, is a better way of dealing with the issue
than random testing.
A Balpa report
suggests that random testing would drive substance abuse underground.
Captain Rick Brennan,
chairman of Balpa, said, "Making the decision to confront a colleague is
tough but if you are a real friend you will do it."
Balpa highlights the
success of a peer intervention programme in the US which has named and helped
550 pilots who had a drink or drug problem return to work over the past 10 years.
A spokesman for BA
said the airline’s plans for random testing and the peer support approach
proposed by Balpa could operate hand-in-hand.