Opioids Being Added To FAA Drug-testing Rules

 - January 31, 2017, 10:37 AM

The U.S. DOT is proposing to amend its drug-testing program to add four opioids—hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone and oxycodone—to the FAA’s urine testing requirements applicable to certain commercial pilots, aircraft mechanics and other covered employees in specified transportation services.

Also proposed are modifications to provisions that cover the handling of urine specimens; to remove provisions that no longer are necessary, such as obsolete compliance dates; and to add clarifying language to other provisions, including updated definitions and web links.

This proposal also adds clarification to certain drug-testing program provisions, removes outdated information in the regulations that is no longer needed and proposes to remove the requirement for employers and consortium/third-party administrators to submit blind specimens. “We have determined, based on a focused analysis of historical drug-testing program data, that the burdens associated with blind-specimen testing may not be cost-beneficial,” the DOT said.

The proposed revisions are intended to coincide with new mandatory guidelines established by the Department of Health and Human Services for federal urine drug-testing programs. Comments are due March 24, 2017.