Vietnam Airlines pilot suspended for positive drug test

By Doan Loan   May 5, 2023 | 05:33 am PT
Vietnam Airlines pilot suspended for positive drug test
Passengers wait to check in at Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCMC, January 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
A Vietnam Airlines pilot has been suspended from flying after a drug test showed he tested positive for ketamine.

The pilot initially refused a pre-flight drug test with his flight crew on April 25, according to a report from the Vietnam Airlines medical center.

He was then taken to a specialty testing services facility in Hanoi’s Long Bien District and had samples taken for rapid urine drug testing.

The results showed that he tested positive for ketamine, a synthetic drug.

The pilot also submitted two painkillers he was taking without a doctor's prescription.

A representative of Vietnam Airlines said on Friday that specialized agencies are carrying out in-depth medical tests on the pilot before coming to a final conclusion.

"Pilot health checks are performed by the airline on a regular basis, both periodically and irregularly, to ensure their psycho-physical health," said the representative, adding all violations will be strictly handled.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam has asked Vietnam Airlines to submit a report on the incident, and arrange for the pilot to be tested at the hospital, before reaching a final conclusion.

Current regulation stipulate that pilots found using banned substances have their licenses revoked forever.

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