German air controllers urge remote control of planes

2015-04-15 20:07
Germanwings second black box (AP)

Germanwings second black box (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Frankfurt - The German air traffic control authority has urged the aviation industry to develop technology that ground staff could use in an emergency to take remote command of a plane, which could help prevent a repeat of a Germanwings crash last month.

Investigators believe that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked his captain out of the cockpit and deliberately crashed the Germanwings plane into a French mountainside on March 24, killing all 150 people on board.

"We have to think past today's technology," Klaus Dieter Scheurle, head of the Deutsche Flugsicherung air traffic control authority, said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Such a system could be used in an emergency on the ground to take remote control of a passenger plane and safely land it, he said.

"I wouldn't say it's the simplest solution though," he said, adding any such technology was likely to come only in the next decade.

Pilots associations are sceptical.

German pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit said remote control could be open to abuse.

"We also have to ask whether such a solution would really be an improvement, after all it's the pilots who are sitting in the cockpit and they're the ones with all the information," VC spokesman Markus Wahl said.

The British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) also urged caution.

"We must act with careful consideration to ensure new safety risks or concerns are not created, such as those raised by the vulnerability of any form of remote control of a passenger aircraft," a spokesman said.

Since the Germanwings crash, European airlines have implemented a rule that two people must be in the cockpit at all times and Germany has set up a task force with the aviation industry to consider changes to medical and psychological tests for pilots.

Read more on:    germanwings  |  germany  |  germanwings crash  |  air crashes  |  aviation

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
15 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.