Lufthansa is considering setting up a task force to evaluate implementing random medical checks of pilots to improve safety in the cockpit, Lufthansa spokesperson Barbara Schaedler told ATW in an email.
The move comes in the aftermath of the March 24 crash of a Germanwings Airbus A320 into the southern French Alps while on a scheduled flight from Barcelona to Düsseldorf, which killed all 150 people on board. The investigation revealed the co-pilot intentionally downed the aircraft.
Germanwings is a fully owned subsidiary of Lufthansa Group.
Schaedler said the task force would analyze to what extent unannounced drug tests—such as for psychotropic drugs—could further improve safety in the cockpit.
In addition, Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr told the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that drug tests could be one measure to reduce uncertainties of a pilot’s mental health. Spohr also said he wanted to check on which cases flight doctors could be released from confidentiality.
Spohr said in the interview that the Germanwings crash created the first state of emergency within Lufthansa in its 60-year history.