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UK Pilots’ Union: Stop Stigmatizing Mental Illness

In response to a proposal by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to begin psychological testing for prospective pilots in the wake of the Germanwings incident in 2015, The British Airline Pilots’ Association has expressed concerns that the agency’s position may further stigmatize mental illness in the aviation industry. BALPA noted that such testing could not reliably ascertain the true mental state of applicants, and could contribute to employees refusing to address mental health issues for fear of losing their jobs.

“Balpa and the European Cockpit Association have also continued to point out to EASA that the use of psychological testing would, sadly, almost certainly not have prevented the Germanwings tragedy [[…] It is wrong to assume that anyone suffering with depression is suicidal and furthermore, homicidal, such as was the case with the Germanwings co-pilot,” said Dr. Rob Hunter, Balpa’s head of flight safety and an aeromedical examiner.

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Counsellor May 16, 2017

Remind me not to fly BA if they're more concerned about the feelings of a mentally-disturbed pilot than about the safety of their passengers.