Government Orders Pilot to Give Himself Surprise Drug Tests

job interview Does the government over-regulate much? A helicopter pilot who runs his own one-pilot charter company has been ordered by the FAA to adopt a random drug testing program, with the same requirements as major airlines. In other words, "I'm responsible for periodically surprising myself with a random drug test," says Philip Greenspun, the only official "safety sensitive" employee in his small company.

Recently, Greenspun wrote to Cato-at-Liberty.org, elaborating on how an FAA inspector took a look at his company's drug testing policy, and found it wanting. In order to comply with government regulations, as an employer Greenspun must undergo training that would enable him to recognize when an employee is on drugs, presumably so he can bust himself.

As an employee, he needs to take another training course so that he'll know about the many ways his employer can surprise him with a random drug test. "So really I'm learning about how I might trap myself," he says.

Doesn't the FAA have anything more important to do than regulate drug testing at a one-man show? Apparently not. Greenspun reports that about five minutes after the FAA inspector left, he received a call, from none other than the FAA, wanting to schedule an audit of his drug testing program. At least he won't have a problem rallying his staff.


Next: Confessions of a Flight Attendant



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