Random testing, FAA, policy and procedure, safety, Fourth Amendment, search, due process.
Officials with the Orange County Airport Association challenge new regulations ordered by the Federal Aviation Administration that require random drug testing of all flight crew members and air traffic controllers in the commercial aviation industry. Association officials contend the regulations violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Decision of lower jurisdiction:
The FAA stated the drug testing regulations were necessary to promote and preserve public safety. Although the FAA stated there was no evidence of widespread drug use within the commercial aviation industry, federal officials argued the testing procedures would help reduce drug abuse.
The FAA wins. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the FAA's regulations concerning random drug testing. The court ruled the administrative agency's regulations were constitutional. The court noted that public safety concerns required federal authorities to adopt reasonable measures to reduce substance abuse among flight crew members.