Germany passes law on tougher pilot screening after Germanwings crash

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 14, 2016 6:12 AM

BERLIN (Reuters) - A year after the Germanwings plane crash, Germany's lower house of parliament has passed a package of measures to tighten up reporting of pilot medical assessments and requiring tougher alcohol and drugs checks on pilots.

Germanwings pilot Andreas Lubitz killed 150 passengers and crew when he locked his captain out of the cockpit and deliberately steered his jet into the French Alps on March 24, 2015.

Investigations showed he had a history of mental illness and had concealed this from his employer in the months leading up to the crash. Lubitz was taking anti-depressants and sleeping medication at the time of the crash, investigators said.

Alongside random spot checks on pilots for drugs and alcohol, the new law will involve a medical database being set up to allow for easier reference for aeromedical specialists of pilot medical assessments.

The law was passed a day after families of around 80 of those killed in the crash filed a suit against Lufthansa's flight training school in the United States, alleging the school was negligent in its screening of Lubitz.

(Reporting by Markus Wacket and Victoria Bryan; Editing by Gareth Jones)