Despite the best efforts of the GUARDIAN and other media outlets, the Federal Aviation Administration has so far failed to answer two essential questions regarding the November 19 incident at the Boise tower when controllers failed to respond to radio calls and four Boise coppers smelled the aroma of marijuana in the wee hours of that morning.
Our efforts to obtain information or documents has gone all the way to FAA headquarters inn Washington, D.C.
When the GUARDIAN posted the story detailing the police reports of four officers and an airport operations manager, this message was posted in the comments:
“If the Guardian had contacted the FAA before running this story, we would have explained that we drug tested both controllers and both tests were negative. We are continuing to investigate this incident.”
— Ian Gregor, Public Affairs Manager, FAA Pacific Division
KBOI TV2 and the Statesman got the same comment from Gregor. When we asked when the tests were administered, Gregor refused to comment.
Since those initial posts, we have filed requests, filled out forms, amended requests, been denied expedited response and stonewalled. The FAA has sent us a form letter from Elizabeth Ray who is billed as “Vice President of Mission Support Services.” This is currently the first “vice president” we have run across in the United States Government other than Joe Biden.
The FAA–through Gregor–seem to back their controllers and contradict the four coppers and ops guy at the airport who all filed reports of smelling the aroma of marijuana at the ATC tower early November 19. Because of Gregor’s statement, the FAA is in a position of either admitting their drug test policy doesn’t work or challenging the ability of trained police officers to observe the signs of marijuana aroma and influence.
The FAA has so far failed (refused) to tell the flying public if people suspected of illicit drug use (based on Boise Police reports) are still on duty in the Boise Tower with the lives of thousands of travelers under their control. While they officially claimed the employees “passed drug tests,” they have refused to provide the date or results of those tests.
Boise officials have offered to assist in the investigation and the FAA turned them down.
The request for info has been bumped up to the FAA headquarters in Washington, D.C. We got this “clarification”
today. “In your requests, you are seeking the time, date, and results of any drug test. Are you seeking the drug test for ATC operators on duty November 19, 2016 or a specific individual(s)?”
Both the Boise officials and FAA have steadfastly refused to name the ATC operators. Their PR guy in Los Angeles seems to know they “passed the tests,” but now they slow the process with the above query.
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.