In what has taken nearly a year, Germany is prepared to amend its Aviation Act so that policies can be added that will subject pilots to random screening for Alcohol, Illegal Drugs, and Prescription Medications. This initiative comes as a direct result of the Germanwings crash that took place on March 24, 2015 where it was determined that the pilot who caused the crash was under medical treatments that were not disclosed to Lufthansa.
In addition to the screening policy, the proposed revisions also include the creation of database that will track pilots and their medical conditions so that they can no longer be hidden from the pilot’s employer. This was an issue with the Germanwings crash since the doctors examining the pilot who crashed the aircraft did not immediately report the pilot’s medical condition or prescriptions that he was on. Creating the database would require doctors to submit updates on pilots that they treat so that airlines would be aware of their pilot’s current medical situations.
The update to the Aviation Act now goes to the German Federal Parliament where it will be debated and voted upon. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is supporting this initiative and it appears that the policy will be adopted throughout the EU.
Once enacted, the execution of the policy will be the responsibility of the airlines. They will be responsible for administering the random screenings as well keeping track of their pilots in the database tracking their medical history.