European aviation psychologists in support of aircrew and airlines
New rules on mental fitness of air crew after the Germanwings Flight 9525 incident in March 2015:
European airlines will perform a psychological assessment of their pilots before the start of employment.
On July 25, 2018 the European Union published new safety rules on air operations, including new provisions to better support the mental fitness of air crew. The Regulation includes the following safety measures:
Support programme: all pilots working for European airlines will have access to a support programme that will assist and support pilots in recognising, coping with, and overcoming problems which might negatively affect their ability to safely exercise the privileges of their licence.
Alcohol testing: As an additional safety barrier, alcohol testing of pilots and cabin crew for all European and foreign airlines who fly into the territories of the European Union, has been added. Alcohol testing is already a well-established practice in some Member States and with this Regulation alcohol testing will now be extended to all EU Member States within the next two years.
Psychological assessment: European airlines will perform a psychological assessment of their pilots before the start of employment.
European aviation psychologists, united in the European Association for Aviation Psychology (EAAP), together with the European Society of Aerospace Medicine (ESAM) and the European Cockpit Association (ECA) are actively cooperating with EASA in creating Acceptable Means of Compliance and Guidance Material to be issued soon to support the implementation of psychological assessment procedures and pilot peer support programmes.
A dedicated platform called European Pilot Peer Support Initiative (EPPSI) has been created to promote best practices. Visit the EPPSI website
Commenting on the publication of the Regulation, EASA's Executive Director, Patrick Ky, said:
These new European rules take up the proposals EASA made in its swift follow-up of the Germanwings Flight 9525 accident, in consultation with the wider aviation community. With these rules Europe introduces the right tools to safeguard the mental fitness of air crew. During the two years transition period, EASA will actively support European and international stakeholders in implementing this new Regulation .
Read the press release of EASA