One year after the premeditated Germanwings A320 crash, Germany has drawn lessons from the disaster, and is to undertake two measures.
The first will be random checks of airline pilots to detect alcohol, drugs or medication. Second, is the creation of a single database, concerning the gathering of information from their medical records, and accessibility to all Aviation Medical Examiners or Doctors. The project will be voted in the German parliament next month.
As explained by this member of the Bundestag's Transport Ministry: "These measures could actually have a deterrent effect on pilots, to the extent that those with problems now know they are at risk of being detected during a check".
German airlines themselves will normally be responsible for conducting the tests. Spot-checks already exist in other countries. In the US they are carried out by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). In Germany, the bill is being debated amongst members of the profession who feel stigmatized, with some Aviation Doctors even fearing perverse effects.
This Aviation Doctor asks whether a pilot on anti-depressants does not represent a lesser risk than those who should take them, but do not, for fear of being detected.
At European level, the European Agency for Aviation Safety (EASA) has confirmed that it is working on the implementation of similar measures.