Aircrew medical fitness

At a meeting of the EASA Committee held on 20-21 February, a positive vote was made on a Draft Commission Regulation based on EASA Opinion 14/2016 amending Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012.

The changes to the Air OPS implementing rules will introduce preventive measures that will require EU airlines to carry out a psychological assessment of pilots before commencing line flying and to ensure that pilots have access to a pilot support programme.

EU airlines will be required to carry out systematic drug and alcohol (D&A) testing of flight and cabin crew upon employment, after a serious incident or accident; following a reasonable suspicion; and unannounced testing after rehabilitation and return to work.

Member States will have to carry out mandatory random alcohol testing of flight and cabin crew, either within the ramp inspection programme or by other state officials, e.g. police, to ensure an additional safety barrier.

A two year transition period will allow Member States, airlines and EASA to prepare for the upcoming changes.