On March 24th 2015, co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately caused an Airbus A320-211 to crash, killing all 144 passengers and 6 crew members, despite being previously treated for suicidal tendencies and declared ‘unfit for work’ by his doctor.

After reaching cruise altitude and while the captain had momentarily left the cockpit, Lubitz locked the door and initiated a controlled descent that continued until the aircraft impacted a mountainside in the French Alps, 62 miles north-west of Nice.

The immediate response to the incident was the recommendation (by the European Aviation Safety Agency / EASA) of always having at least two crew members in the cockpit during the entire duration of the flight, one of course being a pilot. Many airlines adopted this policy voluntarily in the aftermath.

More than three years on, new European rules surrounding the mental health and fitness of crew members have just been revealed by the European Union, following advice from the EASA and the wider aviation community. The new rules include 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.

EASA’s Executive Director, Patrick Ky said, “ With these rules Europe introduces the right tools to safeguard the mental fitness of air crew. During the two year transition period, EASA will actively support European and international stakeholders in implementing this new regulation.”


Easing yourself back in to work after maternity leave

Heading back to work from maternity leave? Rejoining the workplace after a long break can leave you riddled with anxiety! Going back to work after maternity leave is the start of an exciting new chapter for you and your family. It’s an opportunity to...

Man charged with flying device near Heathrow

A 38-year old man has been charged with flying a drone near Heathrow Airport on Christmas Eve. The suspected drone flight happened just days after Gatwick experienced the same, which grounded more than 1,000 flights. The airport reopened on 21 December...

Why didn’t I get the job?

If your confidence has been knocked after receiving a rejection letter, asking for feedback can help you gain more clarity on the situation. We’re going to walk you through how to ask an employer for feedback, so you can improve and impress at your next job...

Share This