CAAP to Require Flight Crew to Take Psychiatric Exam

The Civil Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) will soon require airline flight stewards and mechanics to take a neuropsychiatric examination as part of the requirements for applying for or renewing their licenses.

The Philippine aviation regulatory agency is set to meet with all airline stakeholders and group of psychiatric doctors to discuss measures on improving the procedures of establishing psychiatric readiness of airline crew, mechanics, and student pilots applying for and renewing licenses.

The Philippine Psychiatric Association, on its part, is expected to give input on the conduct of both oral and written psychiatric tests.

In addition to the proposed new rules for licensing, CAAP Director General William K. Hotchkiss III also suggested a new ruling in relation to the amended Part 1 of the Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations (PCAR) with provisions of Part 9 that include Paragraph (3) to subsection 9.5.1.8 (c) Security of Flight Compartment that two pilots, a flight crewmember, preferably male but not necessarily a pilot, shall be required to be inside the flight deck (cockpit).

CAAP also orders that the cockpit door should be locked from the time all external doors are closed for embarkation. It can only be opened until disembarkation time excluding times when deemed necessary.

CAAP added that “means shall be provided for monitoring from either pilot’s station the entire door area outside the flight crew compartment to identify persons requesting entry and to detect suspicious behavior or potential threat.”

Modifications in cockpit security rules are being implemented by aviation authorities around the world in light of the tragic crash of Germanwings flight 9525 in the French Alps on March 24, 2015.

All of the plane’s 150 passengers were killed when co-pilot Andrea Lubitz deliberately crashed the plane by locking the pilot-in-command out of the cockpit before programming the aircraft to descend.