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BALPA says pilots are generally healthy and well-balanced

The British Airline Pilots’ Association, which represents almost 10,000 UK pilots, has responded to a survey of airline pilots released today. Pilots say that even though the survey showed less propensity to depression and suicide among pilots than the general population, it was still necessary to have good systems for ensuring pilots could raise such issues freely and without stigma.

Dr Rob Hunter, head of flight safety, said:

“BALPA’s experience is that levels of depression that could trigger suicidal thoughts are rare among pilots and certainly not as high as this survey seems to suggest.

“Pilots are generally in good physical and mental health as indeed they need to be.

“However, the Germanwings tragedy showed that it is better to have an open and honest culture that allows any mental health issues to be discussed and addressed rather than to have them hidden away.

“BALPA works with UK airlines and the aviation industry towards ensuring the highest standards of health and wellbeing for pilots everywhere.”