German aviation authority: crash pilot's licence in line with procedures

  • World
  • Thursday, 09 Apr 2015

Andreas Lubitz runs the Airportrace half marathon in Hamburg in this September 13, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Foto-Team-Mueller

BERLIN (Reuters) - Lufthansa and the German aviation authority have agreed that correct procedures were followed when Andreas Lubitz was awarded his pilot's licence, the authority said on Thursday.

Investigators believe that Lubitz deliberately crashed the Germanwings plane into a French mountainside on March 24, killing all 150 people onboard.

Lufthansa has said Lubitz had told its flight school in 2009 that he had overcome a period of severe depression, raising questions over how pilots are screened and whether they should undergo more psychiatric testing once qualified.

The authority, the Luftfahrtbundesamt (LBA), said over the weekend that it had no knowledge of Lubitz's depression. However, Germanwings parent company Lufthansa had responded by saying that under previous regulations in force until 2013, it was not required to inform the LBA.

Lufthansa Chief Executive Carsten Spohr met with LBA president Joerg Mendel on Tuesday and held "constructive" talks, the two parties said.

"We came to the joint conclusion that the correct procedures for awarding a pilot's licence were followed," the LBA said when contacted by Reuters on Thursday.

(Reporting by Ralf Bode; Writing by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Madeline Chambers)

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