Aviation Regulator Finalising Psychometric Test Norms for Pilots


Aviation Regulator Finalising Psychometric Test Norms for PilotsAs the government looks to make psychometric tests compulsory for pilots in the wake of the Germanwings crash, DGCA is preparing detailed norms including that for assessment of an individual’s mental health at the time of joining a flying training school.

The plan, coming in the aftermath of a Germanwings co-pilot deliberately crashing a plane in the Alps in March this year leaving 150 people dead, has been discussed by a three-member panel of the DGCA.

Recently, the panel submitted its report to the chief of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), an official said.

The report has made a slew of suggestions with regard to assessing the mental health of pilots of domestic carriers and it is believed that psychometric tests could be made mandatory for pilots.

To ensure proper assessment, individuals would be subject to psychometric tests at the time of joining a flying training organisation as well as before being inducted as pilot in a carrier, according to the source.

Another round of test would be done while the individual goes for command of an airline. Again the test would be carried out in case some aberrations while carrying out duties are observed, the official said.

“DGCA is in discussions with various entities including the Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM) and DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation),” the official added.

Before finalising the norms, the regulator would also hold discussions with pilots.

In May, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma had said that if psychometric tests were in the wider interest of safety of passengers and civil aviation industry, then the government would make it mandatory.

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A Germanwings co-pilot had deliberately crashed a plane in the Alps in March, leaving 150 people dead. The co-pilot is believed to have suffered some sort of mental breakdown.

At present, Air India has made psychometric test mandatory for recruitment of trainee pilots (commercial pilot licence holders).

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