Germany’s “Air Safety Non-Conformity”: EU Raised Concerns before the Germanwings Crash

Written by | Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), an EU agency, had expressed its concerns over Germany’s “non-conformity” with EU air safety rules and especially with air health monitoring before the Germanwings crash in the French Alps. The EASA’s spokesperson, Dominique Fouda, said that they “had pointed out several cases of non-conformity” and added that “on the basis of the EASA recommendations the European Commission launched, in late 2014, a process calling for accountability from Germany”.

Andreas Lubitz, who is suspected of having deliberately crashed a place with 150 people aboard, had looked for information about security measures of cockpit doors and ways to commit a suicide a few days before the crash. Moreover, prosecutors say that he had been diagnosed as “suicidal” a couple of years ago and his training had thus been briefly interrupted before he became a pilot. Germanwings’ parent company, Lufthansa, has come under major pressure after it was revealed that Andreas Lubitz had informed his employer about his depression in 2009 after the interruption of his training.

Lufthansa’s CEO, Carsten Spohr, however, said that the airline was completely unaware of any health problems that would render co-pilot Lubitz “air-unworthy”. In contrast, Mr Spohr said, he was 100-percent fit to fly. Doctors had recently also found no sign that he would intend to commit suicide or hurt others but he was receiving treatment from psychiatrists and neurologists who had given him a sick leave a number of times. On the day of the crash, Lubitz was also signed off sick.

According to the latest Saturday edition of the Wall Street Journal, Germany’s airline industry suffers from personnel shortfalls, which “could undermine its ability to run checks of carriers and crew, including medical checks.” EU Commission called on Germany “to get its aviation industry in conformity” with the rules.

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