New Delhi: Government is likely to make psychometric test mandatory for assessing the mental health of pilots of domestic carriers, a move which comes against the backdrop of a Germanwings co-pilot deliberately crashing a plane in the Alps in March.
"If it is in wider interest of safety of passengers and civil aviation industry, we will make it mandatory," Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma said.
The Minister said aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has already initiated the process of formulating new norms for assessing the mental fitness of pilots.
"After the Germanwings incident, we have to be very cautious of having this test also as a mandatory test," he said.
A Germanwings co-pilot had deliberately crashed a plane in the Alps in March, leaving 150 people dead. The co-pilot is believed to have suffered some sort of mental breakdown.
As of now national carrier Air India has made psychometric test mandatory for recruitment of trainee pilots (commercial pilot license holders).
Air India had for the first time availed the services of a psychologist from IAF for conducting psychological tests during a recent recruitment drive of trainee pilots in which 56 aspirants failed to make the cut.
The aspirants, who failed to make the cut, had termed the entire process as "flawed."
To a question, the Minister said, "Once we make the guidelines, we don't wait for the reaction and the response of the people. So the question of accepting (it) or not accepting does not come."
Sharma, however, said all stakeholders would be consulted prior to formulation of new regulations to elicit their suggestions.