Canadian flight crews and other airline industry employees are now prohibited from using cannabis for at least 28 days before going on duty, according to a new policy announced Thursday by Transport Canada, the country’s federal transportation system regulator. The new policy goes into effect immediately and applies to pilots, cabin crew, and air traffic controllers. Transport Canada issued the new regulations to clarify the agency’s policy following October’s legalization of cannabis in Canada after the passage of Bill C-45 last year.
Transport Canada said that airline industry employees must maintain a certain level of “fitness for duty” at all times while working, according to a report from the CBC. Workers must therefore not use or be “under the influence of any drug that impairs the person’s faculties to the extent that aviation safety is affected,” the agency said.
Commercial airlines in the country including Air Canada and Westjet have already banned employees in safety-sensitive jobs from using cannabis, even when they are off duty. A spokesperson for Westjet explained the company’s policy on Thursday.
“Our policy reflects our reputation as an industry leader in safety and our expectations that WestJetters report fit for duty and remain fit for duty