Peer pressure solution proposed for pilots

The union representing the
UK’s pilots has opposed plans by BA to introduce drink and drug testing for
flight crews.

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.

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