Pilot Stress, Another disaster in waiting?


Is the job of a pilot an exceptionally stressful one? This was the first question asked on a recent Brookfield Aviation survey conducted among 1000 industry professionals and the first question asked of an audience at ‘Transport Security Expo 2015’ by Brookfield’s Ashweena Reebye who presented the results of our findings to the conference in December.


On a panel of experts which also included Philip Baum, editor of Aviation Security International, Professor Robert Bor, clinical and specialist aviation psychologist, and Capt. Martin Drake, Chairman of Security Working Group, ECA, Ashweena spoke of the threats posed to the travelling public by pilots under suicidal levels of stress and considered how this could be detected and avoided, the need for airlines to conduct psychological testing on a regular basis and whether or not there is a case for keeping cockpit doors unlocked in the aftermath of recent events. She went on to discuss the challenges with implementation of such tests and the development of an industry standard test that could be recognised worldwide.


Ashweena, speaking at the conference, with Philip Baum

As much as there was a range of opinion on the subject, everybody agreed that more should be done. The fact that only a minority of airlines test the psychological condition of their pilots and hardly any of them do this on a regular basis points to what many consider to be an obvious problem.

Expert Panel: Ashweena Reebye, Prof. Robert Bor and Capt. Martin Drake


There have been numerous tragedies over the last few years where innocent passengers have lost their lives because of a suicidal pilot, however as Ashweena pointed out, the public have only taken note in a big way since it happened in Europe and they have been able to express opinions on social media. The full results of our survey can be seen by clicking here

Brookfield Aviation is playing its part in the ever challenging world of Aviation Security. Our questioning of key individuals throughout the industry enables us to respond to the needs of airlines, airports and aviation authorities and provide the services of experts in all disciplines for long or short term assignments.

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