Belfast Telegraph

Randox wins deal to randomly drug test Virgin pilots

By Lesley Houston

Randox has secured a contract with Virgin Atlantic to provide a drugs and alcohol testing service for its pilots and air crew.

The screening services arm of the Co Antrim pharmaceutical giant – which already provides a similar service for Ryanair – announced the deal ahead of an international conference on substance testing, which takes place in Belfast today.

The company said it was currently unable to put a value on the contract, which has been secured for the next three years.

A Randox spokesman yesterday confirmed the new contract was the latest in a line it provides to safety-critical industries including transportation, construction and logistics.

It also outsources its products to other safety-sensitive areas including the police.

The deal provides for the supply of random drug and alcohol testing, which involves Randox staff arriving on site and obtaining samples, which are then transported under full chain-of-custody conditions to one of Randox's secure laboratory facilities.

The samples are then tested for a wide range of substances.

Similar tests can also be carried out in a "with-cause" scenario – for example, following an incident or concern that could have public safety implications.

The company said that the adaptability of its patented ground-breaking BioChip Array Technology provides "the widest test menu available within the global market", including new psychoactive substances known as 'legal highs'.

Randox Testing Services manager Gary McCutcheon added the company was delighted to be partnering with Virgin Atlantic.

"We know this deal demonstrates Randox's capacity to handle a global carrier," he said.

The company unveiled the details of the new contract as it took centre stage at the International Forum for Drug & Alcohol Testing, held in Titanic Belfast.

Mr McCutcheon said the timing of the deal was perfect.

"The International Forum for Drug and Alcohol Testing is the premier event in the industry calendar, so we are pleased everything was signed sealed and delivered in time," he added.

"As host sponsor, Randox Testing Services played a key role in bringing this international event to Belfast,

"So to be able to showcase such a landmark deal in front of peers and potential customers is a real bonus."

Belfast Telegraph