The FAA Wants Your Urine...

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For Drug and Alcohol Testing...

Don't all volunteer at once. If your company builds the nut that goes onto the bolt that is screwed into the widget that eventually goes anywhere on a commercial jet, you could soon be subjected to the FAA's drug- and alcohol-testing program. And the costs, in dollars and hours, could be steeper than some want to pay. If the FAA pushes forward with its plan, the airlines will be affected to be sure, but so will general aviation. Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) Managing Director and General Counsel Marshall Filler says the FAA's plan has not considered the day-to-day practicalities. "They seem to be saying 'don't confuse us with the facts,'" Filler tells AVweb. The FAA fact thus far is this: Any shop of any type that even touches something that will eventually be used by a Part 121/135 aircraft MUST have an FAA-approved drug- and alcohol-testing program. The testing will extend to any tier of a maintenance contract, no matter how far down the ladder from the air carrier. Filler says that will be made even more difficult because there aren't enough inspectors to handle the current workload. ARSA fears that under the FAA proposal, a welding shop that welds for people both in and out of aviation but is not a certificated repair station might decide to just leave the industry rather than deal with the hassle of pre-hire and random drug checks and all the paperwork that will go with them. Multiply that one business by all those potentially affected and you see that what started as an airline-related safety rule could affect many others who fly.