A European task force set up to look into safety after the Germanwings crash on March 24 has made six recommendations that will now be reviewed by the European Commission.
The task force representing airlines, crew, doctors and authorities was led by the European Aviation Safety Agency that has proposed the following:
1: The recent 2-persons-in-the-cockpit recommendation is maintained. Its benefits should be evaluated after one year.
2: All airline pilots should undergo psychological evaluation as part of training or before entering service. Airlines should verify that a satisfactory evaluation has been carried out. The psychological part of existing medical assessments and training for examiners should be strengthened.
3: Mandatory drugs and alcohol testing as part of a random program of testing by the airline.
4: A robust oversight program covering the performance of aero-medical examiners.
5: The EASA panel recommends that national regulations ensure that an appropriate balance is found between patient confidentiality and the protection of public safety.
6: The panel recommends the implementation of pilot support and reporting systems
It also recommended the creation of a European aeromedical data repository as a first step to facilitate the sharing of aeromedical information and tackle the issue of pilot non-declaration.
The task force also looked at cockpit-door locking mechanisms, including the manual lock that the Germanwings co-pilot used to prevent the captain re-entering the cockpit. It concluded that “taking into account that possible risks associated with illegitimate use of the manual lock from inside the cockpit may be mitigated through the 2-persons-in-the-cockpit recommendation, the Task Force does not see it necessary to recommend further immediate action on the cockpit door manual or electrical locking system at present.”
(Compiled by Victoria Bryan, Editing by Tim Hepher)
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