MIAMI — Following the March 2015 crash of Germanwings flight 9525, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has released today a set of proposals to the European Commission, in order to update the rules related to the medical fitness of pilots.
The proposals include introducing new requirements that would “strengthen class 1 medical examination for applicants for and holders of certificates by including drugs and alcohol screening and comprehensive mental health assessment as well as improved follow-up in case of medical history of psychiatric conditions.”
Germanwings flight 9525 was en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf on March 24, when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked himself in the cockpit and executed a 8-minute descent that ended in a crash that killed all 150 souls on board, as concluded by prosecutors and investigators. Lubitz, who had a history of deep depression episodes and medical issues, was declared fit to fly.
Additionally, the training, oversight and assessment of medical examiners will also be upgraded, with further measures intended to prevent fraud.
“These proposals have been subject to consultation with all concerned stakeholders. They address relevant safety recommendations made after the flight 9525 accident by the EASA-led task force, as well as by the French Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA),” EASA said.
To support the implementation of these new rules, the EASA prepared draft guidance material annexed to the set of proposals, which will be published once the new rules have been adopted by the Commission. A further set of regulatory proposals in the area of Air Operations will follow before the end of the year.