Germanwings and the mind

Predictably in the aftermath of the Germanwings tragedy, the media chorus is ‘Something must be done!’. They say that the airlines must do more about their aircrew’s fitness to fly, and especially psychiatric issues that might affect flight safety.

Easier said than done, for these reasons.

Although the best airlines will undoubtedly have proper welfare systems to protect aircrew health as far as possible, medical examinations are not their responsibility. This lies with the Civil Aviation Authority (in the UK) which carries out all medical examinations with specially trained doctors.