Directors at French Guiana’s main international airport have sent out a letter to air-traffic controllers there asking them to lay off the pot and other hallucinogenic substances during their shifts.

"/> Directors at French Guiana’s main international airport have sent out a letter to air-traffic controllers there asking them to lay off the pot and other hallucinogenic substances during their shifts.

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DRUGS

Air traffic controllers asked not to smoke up during shifts

Directors at French Guiana’s main international airport have sent out a letter to air-traffic controllers there asking them to lay off the pot and other hallucinogenic substances during their shifts.

The letter, which was obtained by the newspaper Le Figaro, informed air traffic controllers at Cayenne Rochambeau airport that certain behaviours were “incompatible with safety.”

Those include drinking alcohol in the control tower, smoking marijuana or taking hallucinogenic drugs.

“Psychoactive substances affect the brain in that they diminish certain judgment and reasoning abilities and prolong reaction times,” the letter dated June 28th read.

“These effects are not compatible with air traffic control duties. That is why consuming alcohol or other psychoactive substances, under any form, is prohibited during the entire length of a work shift.”

In order to avoid any misunderstanding the letter laid out in detail what the management had in mind.

“The aforementioned psychoactive substances include the following: alcohol, opiates, cannabinoids, sedatives, soporifics, cocaine, psychostimulants, hallucinogens and volatile solvents.“

Cayenne Rochambeau ranked last year as the 27th busiest French airport, processing some 420,000 passengers, and is serviced by Air France and Air Caraïbes. French Guiana is a French overseas territory in South America sandwiched between Brazil and Suriname.

In addition to directing flights in and out of the airport, controllers also supervise air traffic throughout French Guiana as well as over an area of the Atlantic Ocean approximately twice the size of France. In 2010, controllers there filed a complaint about having too much work.

“Consuming cannabis and alcohol has unfortunately spread in those professions that demand a high level of concentration,“ an aviation expert told Le Figaro. “In the case of air traffic control, where decisions have to be made quickly, such consumption can have dramatic consequences.“

 

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DRUGS

French minister calls for Eurovision winner to be disqualified if singer fails drug test

France's Europe minister on Monday called for "total transparency" over speculation that one of Italy's victorious Eurovision contestants used cocaine during the song contest, saying it should be grounds for disqualification if confirmed.

French minister calls for Eurovision winner to be disqualified if singer fails drug test
France's entry, Barbara Pravi, said she didn't care whether Måneskin had used drugs or not. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP

Damiano David, the outlandish vocalist for Italian rockers Måneskin, has agreed to take a drug test after video footage appeared to show him snorting something from a table backstage during Saturday’s contest.

“I think there needs to be no doubt here, and total transparency,” Europe Minister Clement Beaune, who attended the show in Rotterdam, told RMC radio. “If there is a problem, there are penalties… Provisions are made for sanctioning measures, including potential disqualification in case of problems.” 

French hopes had been riding high on singer Barbara Pravi, who was a bookmakers’ favourite to end France’s 44-year Eurovision drought with her
moody ballad “Voila.”

But she was edged out at the last minute by a surge in public votes for Måneskin, with a final tally of 524 to Pravi’s 499.

“I don’t want to be a sore loser,” Beaune said, but “in terms of image, we can’t let people think that such competitions can result in such behaviour.”

The president of France’s public broadcasting group, however, said Monday that France would not contest its second-place finish, no matter the speculation over David’s backstage antics.

“France has absolutely no intention to lodge an appeal,” France Televisions chief Delphine Ernotte told the Parisien newspaper. “The vote was quite clearly in Italy’s favour — it didn’t steal its
victory and that’s what matters,” she said.

Pravi herself said she was not interested in the speculation.

“What’s true is that they were chosen by both the public and the jury. Afterwards, if they use drugs or they put their underwear on backwards or whatever… it’s not my problem,” she told France 2 television on Sunday.

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