Date
25 September 2017

China mulls inflight checks on pilot vital signs

China is looking at installing new in-flight pilot monitoring systems to improve air safety on civilian planes, the South China Morning Post reported Tuesday, citing scientists involved in the research.

Authorities are considering the use of military technology that monitors a pilot’s in-flight physical and mental state, it said. The installation of pilot monitoring systems has been discussed by the international aviation industry for years, but the idea is fiercely opposed by pilots on privacy grounds, the report noted.

Foillowing the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 last month, some air safety experts and passengers have been calling for increased in-flight monitoring of cockpit crews.

The People’s Liberation Army had earlier developed a pilot monitoring system that was being used by its air force. Its core components are contained in a lightweight vest which is worn by the pilot.

The 200-gram vest gatheres various data, including the pilot’s pulse, respiratory rate, muscle movement, body temperature and seating position, constantly relaying the data back to controllers for detailed, real-time assessments of the pilot’s physical and mental status, the report said.

– Contact HKEJ [email protected]

SK/RC

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