The eight largest Canadian airlines have confirmed to Transport Minister Marc Garneau that they have the proper safety protocols in place to handle drug and alcohol testing, according to Transport Canada (TC). The airlines in question transport 90 percent of the passengers carried by Canadian Air Operators, TC said.
In early January, Garneau sent a letter asking Canada’s commercial air carriers to confirm by mid-February that they have measures in place to assure pilot fitness for duty. Garneau’s request came in the wake of a Dec. 31 incident in which a Sunwing Airline pilot was accused of being so drunk that he passed out in the cockpit of a Sunwing Boeing 737-800 before a scheduled flight from Calgary to Cancun, Mexico, with two stops in Canada en route. According to police and media reports, other members of the flight crew noticed the pilot behaving oddly before he passed out. He subsequently was arrested by Calgary police and charged with having care and control of an aircraft while impaired and having care and control of an aircraft with a blood alcohol level over 0.08.
TC plans to hold a Fit to Fly Workshop in June to discuss random drug and alcohol testing, among other topics.