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Keflavík airport Icelandair
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Icelandair Implements Regular Drug Testing of All Staff

New EU regulations that take effect in February require all airlines flying within the European Union to conduct regular drug tests of flight and security staff. Icelandair will apply this regulation to all staff, including those in administrative positions, starting this month. Ásdís Ýr Pétursdóttir, Icelandair’s Public Relations Officer, told Fréttablaðið the company will emphasise education, prevention, and support alongside the new testing procedures.

Under the new EU regulation, certain airline staff working within the union’s member states will be required to undergo regular testing for “psychoactive substances,” defined as “alcohol, opioids, cannabinoids, sedatives and hypnotics, cocaine, other psychostimulants, hallucinogens, and volatile solvents, with the exception of caffeine and tobacco.” The regulations stipulate that in cases of “reasonable suspicion,” alcohol tests may be carried out “at any time.” Flight crew or cabin crew may be suspended from duty if they refuse to co-operate during tests.

Icelandair Extents Testing to All Employees

“As a company in aviation where safety is always a priority, we have decided that this policy will apply to [all staff], but procedures will differ between groups. Icelandair strives to create a safe and healthy workplace and this is one aspect of that, and there will be great emphasis on education, prevention, and support in this project,” Icelandair’s PRO told reporters.

Icelandair staff will attend a short workshop later this week where the new regulations will be presented to them. At the end of the month, they will be sent an amendment to their employment contracts concerning the new testing procedures.

Legal Framework for Drug Testing Unclear in Iceland

Iceland’s Parliament has not passed any legislation regarding drug testing of employees. A 2013 opinion from the Data Protection Authority stated there was no legal authorisation for the collection of samples for drug testing from employees of companies or institutions in Iceland. In addition, the Administration of Occupational Safety and Health (Vinnueftirlitið) did not have sufficient legal authority to respond to such cases.

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