The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published a proposal to the European Commission on new operational rules on pilot mental fitness, drug and alcohol testing. This proposal is part of an action plan following the Germanwings Flight 9525 accident.
EASA’s proposal, Opinion 14/2016, includes the following new requirements:
- Ensuring that all pilots have access to a support programme;
- Mandating airlines to perform a psychological assessment of pilots before the start of employment;
- Introducing systematic Drug & Alcohol (D&A) testing of flight and cabin crew upon employment, after a serious incident or accident, with due cause (i.e. following reasonable suspicion), as well as
- Unannounced D&A testing after rehabilitation and return to work;
- As an additional safety barrier for airlines which are not already subject to a national programme for psychoactive substance testing: mandatory random alcohol screening of flight and cabin crew within the EU RAMP inspection programme.
The proposals 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).
The EASA Opinion will serve as the basis for a legislative proposal by the European Commission in the course of 2017.