WASHINGTON — Federal officials say they’ve ruled out requiring psychological testing for airline pilots, despite an air crash last year in which a German pilot deliberately flew an airliner full of passengers into a mountainside.
Michael Huerta, the Federal Aviation Administration’s administrator, says psychological tests are ineffective because they reveal a pilot’s mental health for only a moment in time without providing insight into whether the pilot will suffer problems later.
Instead, he announced several steps the FAA is taking to encourage greater voluntary self-reporting by pilots of mental health problems. The steps are based on recommendations made by an industry advisory committee.
FAA and industry officials say there is currently no psychological testing required of airline pilots, but they are routinely evaluated on how they handle stress.