Airlines will learn from Germanwings crash, IATA CEO says

Enhancing psychological testing for airline pilots will be considered after the apparently intentional crash of Germanwings Flight 9525, the head of an international trade group said Wednesday.

But Tony Tyler, CEO of the International Air Transport Association that represents 250 airlines worldwide, said a thorough investigation must be completed in order to draw lessons from the incident.

Regulators have done a lot of work to ensure pilots are healthy, but after the Germanwings crash «people will be looking at these issues with fresh eyes,» said Tyler, who met with a handful of reporters on his way to an operations conference in Los Angeles.

«The issue of psychological screening, psychological testing, the evaluation of the mental state of not only perhaps pilots, but others in the safety value chain, will no doubt be something that has to be considered and we’ll have to think about ways of seeking to avoid a recurrence of that terrible accident,» Tyler said.

Prosecutors have said the Germanwings co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, locked the pilot out of the cockpit during a flight from Barcelona to Dusseldorf before crashing the plane into the French alps on March 24. Lubitz had been treated for depression, prosecutors said.

Airlines such as Lufthansa, the Germanwings parent, adopted the U.S. policy to keep two crew members in the cockpit at all times. But the French investigation into all aspects of the crash could take a year.

«It will prove in due course to have been another example of how the industry learns from these tragedies and applies the lessons of these tragedies to diminish the likelihood of their recurrence,» Tyler said. «I’m sure the right lessons will be learned and applied»…

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