CAA grounds 3 over psychological concerns

This weekend reports of an 'aviation time bomb' in South Africa emerged.

The CAA says one of its personnel has been permanently grounded for a mental condition that is incompatible with flying. Picture: freeimages.com.

JOHANNESBURG - The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has confirmed to Eyewitness News three aviation employees have been grounded in the last month over concerns about their psychological well-being.

The CAA, however, would not confirm whether the three are pilots, flight attendants, or air traffic controllers.

The psychological regulations for pilots have come into sharp focus over the past week following the fatal Germanwings crash in the French Alps.

The Germanwings tragedy saw a co-pilot deliberately crash an airplane in the French Alps, killing all 150 people onboard.

This weekend, reports of an "aviation time bomb" in this country emerged with questions around whether pilots in South Africa are properly screened.

The CAA says one of its personnel has been permanently grounded for a mental condition that is incompatible with flying.

Spokesperson Phindiwe Gwebu says an aero-medical board sits once a month to assess pilots in all aspects.

She says the other two aviation professionals have been temporarily grounded and have been asked to do further tests with psychologists or psychiatrists.

"Two of them were out on 'temporarily unfit', which means that they either need to do more tests or they need to submit more documentation."

While experts said the South African aviation industry is ahead in steps to regulate routine psychological checks on pilots, there are no formal plans.