This week, the European Union adopted new safety rules to sharpen the mental fitness rules for pilots and cabin crew. The new rules follow the lessons learned from the Germanwings flight 9525 accident in 2015 and introduce the following requirements:
- Give all pilots access to a support programme in case of psychological problems;
- Oblige airlines to perform a psychological assessment of pilots before commencing flying;
- Introduce systematic testing for psychoactive substances of flight and cabin crew upon employment and unannounced testing after rehabilitation and return to work;
- Make random alcohol testing of pilots and cabin crew mandatory for all European and foreign airlines in the European Union.
The Regulation on mental fitness of air crew foresees a transition period of two years, during which industry and Member States can prepare the implementation and establish the necessary infrastructure to comply with the Regulation.
Acceptable Means of Compliance and Guidance Material (AMC/GM) will be issued by European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to support the implementation and interpretation of the new rules.
Following the crash of Germanwings flight 9525 on 24 March 2015, Commissioner Violeta Bulc asked the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to set up a task force to look into the findings set out by the French Accident Investigation Office. The new safety rules turn the recommendations of this task force into law.
Read the full text of the Regulation.
EASA welcomes new rules on mental fitness of air crew
Further amendments relating to medical certification of pilots will follow under Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011
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