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Indian pilots may be subjected to psychometric tests

New Delhi: Pilots of Indian air carriers may now be subjected to mid-term psychometric tests to ensure that they are mentally fit to fly, following the deliberate crashing of German airliner by the co-pilot last week.

Nine commercial airlines in India employ well over 3,000 pilots who are subjected to such tests at the point of induction but there are no subsequent appraisals of their mental state. They, however, undergo physical fitness tests every six months.

The government is mulling “mid-term” psychometric tests in the backdrop of the action of Andreas Lubitz, co-pilot of a Germanwings flight last week who crashed the Airbus A320 plane into the French Alps killing himself and 149 others.

Reports thereafter have said that 27-year-old Lubitz was suffering from depression but had hidden this from the airline which is a subsidiary of Lufthansa.

Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma told PTI here today that psychometric tests should be carried out on pilots in India from time to time.

“It’s an important issue. I think this is a must. We should carry out such tests (psychometric) from time to time. We are going to discuss the issue soon,” Sharma said.

The Ministry would hold consultations with the aviation regulator DGCA soon to prepare fresh rules keeping in mind the crash of the German airliner, he said.

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