National Reference Laboratory Helping Ensure Safe Skies in the UAE

Published on : 25 July 2018
Location : Abu Dhabi
  • National Reference Laboratory (NRL) has become one of only four laboratory providers in the UAE approved by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to carry out drug and alcohol testing for the UAE aviation industry
  • NRL underwent GCAA’s licensing process to support the ongoing development of this economically significant industry which is core to the national economy, and to help maintain high safety standards in the UAE

National Reference Laboratory (NRL)—part of Mubadala’s network of world-class healthcare providers—has been approved by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to carry out drug and alcohol testing for pilots, cabin crew, ground staff, air traffic controllers and other safety-sensitive aviation roles in the UAE. NRL has met the GCAA’s requirements and been granted this approval as a result of its robust testing process, its stringent quality control, its extensive experience with drug and alcohol testing in other industries, and its established reputation in the UAE and the region as a leading reference laboratory.

Aviation has become a core sector of the national economy, supporting economic diversification and social development. This industry is expected to continue its growth trajectory, contributing approximately 750,000 jobs and AED 200 billion to the UAE economy by 2020. As a result, the implementation of global safety standards is a top priority for the GCAA, who continues to work extensively to improve and develop aviation safety and security standards in the UAE’s aviation sector through its Aeromedical Alcohol and Drug Testing Program.

Mr. Abdul Hamid Oubeisi, Chief Executive Officer of National Reference Laboratory commented, “We are honored to apply our expertise to the UAE’s aviation industry and to make available to all operators our advanced, and well-established, drug and alcohol testing. We are pleased that our strategic committment to implementing world-class laboratory testing standards can directly serve this important industry and contribute to the General Civil Aviation Authority’s ongoing efforts to ensure all stakeholders in aviation adhere to international safety standards. Through our comprehensive occupational health testing suite—from rapid on-site testing to more advanced laboratory-based testing—we can help aviation companies ensure their personnel are fit for duty and capable of carrying out their safety-critical functions.”