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U.S. mulls drug testing for aircraft repairers overseas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. aviation regulator is considering requiring drug and alcohol testing of workers maintaining aircraft operated by U.S. air carriers in facilities located outside the United States, but could face problems with a myriad of local laws.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will take public comments on its proposal after posting a Federal Register notice on Thursday.

The agency requires random drug and alcohol testing for maintenance workers based in the United States, but its regulations do not extend to companies or individuals who perform those critical functions on overseas.

"The testing program would have to meet FAA standards and be consistent with the applicable laws of the country where the repair station is located," the FAA said, warning of "significant logistical issues and possible conflicts with local laws."

The agency said the comment period would help it address questions such as which drugs are most misused in particular countries, whether the allowable concentrations of alcohol or drugs needed to be the same in all countries, and whether there are laws in some nations that would prevent random testing.

The International Civil Aviation Operation (ICAO), a part of the U.N. that codifies principles for air travel, does not require member states to establish programs to deter or detect drug or alcohol use by aviation personnel, the FAA said.

(Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by Sandra Maler; Editing by Sandra Maler)