Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The National Consumer Protection Agency (BPKN) has urged the Transportation Ministry to subject all airline crews in the country to narcotic drug tests to prevent the recurrence of the recent meth-consuming pilot case.

"The tests must be done on all airline crews, namely the pilots and cabin attendants," BPKN spokesman Gunarto said here Thursday.

The tests were necessary because the mental pressure suffered by air crews from overwork could easily lead them to turn to drugs, he said.

The transportation ministry should also take measures against the managements of airline companies employing pilots addicted to drugs, Gunarto said.

All pilots should undergo drug use tests every time they were about to fly a plane to ensure they would not be working under the influence of drugs. The tests could be administered by rapid-test kits at least one hour before they boarded their planes.

A Lion Air pilot was last Saturday (Feb 4) arrested for consuming methamphetamine in a hotel in Surabaya, East Java.

The police had decided to send the pilot to a drug addict rehabilitation center after they had established he was not a drug dealer.

"He will be sent to a rehabilitation center at Lido before his case is legally processed," Benny Mamoto, head of the National Narcotics Agency (BNN)`s operations task force, said in Jakarta on Wednesday (Feb 8).

Although the Lion Air pilot was not a drug dealer but just a drug user, the police had not ruled out the possibility there was a drug distribution ring targeting airline pilots. Therefore, police were conducting a deeper investigation around the Lion Air pilot`s case, Benny said. (*)

Editor: Kunto Wibisono
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