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Cannabis Legalization

With the legalization of cannabis, NAV Canada has recently changed their drug and alcohol policy and now require members to take computer-based training (a CBT) on the subject.

CATCA members have expressed confusion on NAV’s stance on cannabis use. The main question we hear is whether NAV Canada’s policy includes a full cannabis ban during a controller’s personal time. NAV Canada has clarified that is not the case, though upon returning to work there must be zero (0) trace of cannabis in your system if you occupy a safety-sensitive position. As most people know, trace levels of cannabis can stay in your system for long periods of time, which under normal periods of leave, makes it impossible to use cannabis and return to work with no trace in your system. 

CARs 801.01 states:

No person shall act as an air traffic controller or a flight service specialist:

a. within eight hours after consuming alcohol;

b. while under the influence of alcohol; or

c. while under the influence of any drug or other substance that impairs the person’s faculties to the extent that aviation safety is affected.

Right now, there are more questions than answers on this topic, but we felt it important to clarify NAV’s position.

CATCA is currently engaged in policy discussions with NAV Canada and Transport Canada regarding controllers’ obligations under CAR’s. As answers become available, we will inform the membership. 

On behalf of the Executive Board,


Peter Duffey                                                                Doug Best
President                                                                     Executive Vice President


Click here for the PDF.