German air controllers urge remote control of planes after crash

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 15, 2015 8:02 AM

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - In response to the Germanwings crash last month, the German air traffic control authority has called on the aviation industry to consider technology that would allow people on the ground to take remote command of a passenger plane and safely land it.

Voice recording and flight data indicate Germanwings pilot Andreas Lubitz locked his captain out of the cockpit and deliberately steered the Airbus A320 into a mountainside on March 24, killing all 150 passengers and crew on board.

"We have to think past today's technology," Klaus Dieter Scheurle, head of the Deutsche Flugsicherung air traffic control authority, said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Such a system could be used in an emergency to take command of the plane and steer it safely to the ground, he said.

Enough's Enough
Walter E. Williams

"I wouldn't say it's the simplest solution though," he said, adding any such technology was likely to come only in the next decade.

(Reporting by Alexander Huebner; Writing by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Noah Barkin)