Plane Crash: Germany to do Spot Drug Tests on Pilots
Germany plans legislation requiring random drug and alcohol testing of pilots, hoping to reduce the risk of a repeat of the Germanwings crash in March.
The plans follow the recommendation of a task-force set up by the Transport Ministry, after a pilot barricaded himself inside the cockpit of a plane operated by Germanwings and crashed it in the Alps, killing all 150 people on board.
Prosecutors have found evidence that the co-pilot, who had suffered severe depression and may have feared losing his job, had researched suicide methods and concealed an illness from his employer, sparking a debate on supervision and medical secrecy.
Germany's measures come after a panel of experts led by Europe's aviation safety regulator in July recommended improved psychological screening for new pilots, and called for the creation of a European database with details of medical visits plus better support networks to reduce the risks of a similar tragedy.
It also called for the introduction of random drug and alcohol testing of pilots and better oversight of the doctors responsible for their regular medical checks.