Pilots that are on antidepressants will now be allowed to take to the skies, as a new U.S. government policy takes effect on Monday.
According to Reuters, “The Federal Aviation Administration said on Friday it was lifting a ban on antidepressants for pilots with mild to moderate depression. To be cleared to fly, pilots who take the drugs must pass screening tests to show they have been successfully treated for at least a year.”
The drop of the decade-old ban means as many as 10,000 pilots -many of them grounded – could return to work as of April 5th.
Supporters of the new policy have claimed that the ban caused pilots to pretend they were not depressed or pretend they were not taking medication, and should now be seen as obsolete because older forms of medication led to the risk of sedation, which modern pills do not run.
Medicated pilots will now be monitored for the length of their career.
“We need to change the culture and remove the stigma associated with depression. Pilots should be able to get the medical treatment they need so they can safely perform their duties,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said, according to Reuters.
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