Germany seeks aviation reforms with emergency remote piloting

The German air traffic control authority has urged the international aviation industry to develop new technology allowing remote control of planes by ground staff during an emergency preventing a repeat of the Germanwings crash last month.

Head of the Deutsche Flugsicherung air traffic control authority Klaus Dieter Scheurle said, “We have to think past today's technology. Such a system could be used in an emergency on the ground to take remote control of a passenger plane and safely land it".

However, the German pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit spokesman Markus Wahl said,
pilots are sceptical as remote controls are open to abuse possibly allowing attackers to gain remote access to avionics systems and compromise them. "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".

Since the Germanwings crash where the pilot deliberately crashed his plane killing 150, European airlines implemented a rule that two people must be in the cockpit at all times and Germany has set up an aviation industry task force focusing on changes to pilot psychological and medical tests.

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