EU task force calls for psychological exams, drug and alcohol testing for airline pilots

Associated Press

A European Union task force is recommending pre-employment psychological evaluations and random drug and alcohol tests for pilots to prevent a repeat of the Germanwings disaster.

The panel led by the European Aviation Safety Agency issued its recommendations Friday. It was formed in response to the March 24 crash of a German airliner in France that killed all 150 people onboard.

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Experts say the plane's co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, who reportedly had a history of mental illness, deliberately flew the jet into a mountain after locking the pilot out of the cockpit.

The task force's recommendations also call for keeping two people in the cockpit at all times. Its advice will now be considered by the European Commission and may lead to new EU-wide aviation safety regulations.