In any community, a proportion of people use alcohol or other drugs in a way that is unsafe. The nature of alcohol and drug problems is such that an individual may not fully realise the implications of their use. In aviation this can have significant consequences, but if a problem is identified early and managed well, safety can be maintained without jeopardy to employment.
What is HIMS?
HIMS is a programme for members of the aviation community, aimed at helping anyone whose use of alcohol or other drugs is of concern. A cornerstone of HIMS is the understanding that substance dependence is a treatable medical condition. HIMS is modelled on well-established overseas programmes (see links to our colleagues in New Zealand and the United States under the "HIMS Australia Q & A, Other Resources" tab) which has assisted thousands of pilots in returning to work. Here in Australia it is an industry-wide effort in which employers, unions and CASA will work together to preserve careers and further flight safety.
The following key organisations within the Australian aviation sector have expressed assistance for the HIMS approach to the handling of substance use disorders with support for the objectives, guiding principles and processes of the HIMS programme:
- Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP)
- Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA)
- Australian Aircrew Officers Association (Australian based Cathay Pacific Airways Crew)
Additional organisations have expressed strong support and will be added as HIMS Australia is fully established.