Vietnam Airlines investigating pilot who tested positive for ketamine

May 05, 2023 - 18:14
The pilot, only identified as P.H.D.1, is temporarily suspended from work while awaiting the official conclusion.
On April 25, pilot P.H.D.1 refused a pre-flight drug test with his flight crew.
— VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — A spokesman for Vietnam Airlines said on Friday that the company is investigating a pilot whose initial drug test returned positive for ketamine.

The pilot, only identified as P.H.D.1, is temporarily suspended from work while awaiting the official conclusion.

He initially refused a pre-flight drug test with his flight crew on April 25 before being taken to a Medlatec office at 141 Ngô Gia Tự, Long Biên District, Hà Nội for a clinical drug test.

The next day, Medlatec Hospital returned the results showing that ketamine was found.

Đặng Anh Tuấn, the official airline spokesman for the case, said the positive result is from an initial test that needs further examination.

On Friday noon, the Deputy Director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, Hồ Minh Tấn, also said that there was still a need for in-depth medical tests.

It is because there are cases where the initial test result returns positive and then negative the second time, or the person may be taking medications with by-products related to the substance being tested, he added.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam is also working on an official test for the pilot at a hospital before issuing a final conclusion.

If the results show that this pilot has used a banned substance, according to current regulations, the pilot's licence will be revoked permanently.

Đặng Anh Tuấn said that the health check of the pilot is a routine performed by the airline, both periodically and irregularly.

"We always ensure that the safety of operation, the safety and the health of passengers and employees is always the most important goal," said Tuấn.

"Therefore, the airline always proactively inspects and reviews to detect and handle promptly handle cases of violations of rules and regulations in this field."

The pilot also submitted two painkillers they are taking without a doctor's prescription.

However, the active ingredient in pain relievers does not have ketamine-related ingredients, while the body's metabolism process does not produce this substance. — VNS