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MESAFE (Mental health)

The research objectives and expected outcome

This research project assesses new medical developments for the early diagnosis as well as treatment of mental health conditions which could pose a safety risk for aviation and would consequently lead to pilot and air traffic controller (ATCO) unfitness or the limitation of their medical certificate for safety purposes.

Currently, there are no specific, validated mental health assessment methods for aviation use, incorporating the specific operational needs, to address the issues identified. Research is needed to further detail the specific needs, and to develop and validate assessment methods or to assess the applicability of existing methods for use in the aviation environment.

The expected outcome of this research project will be as follows:

  • evidence-based recommendations for updating the mental health requirements in Part-MED and Part-ATCO.MED in line with the medical developments;
  • evidence-based recommendations for mental health assessment methods suitable for aeromedical fitness assessments;
  • an impact assessment of the recommended regulatory changes;
  • guidance material on the updates to the fitness assessment of applicants for aeromedical examiners and medical assessors;
  • guidance material on mental health assessment and the updates to the fitness assessment of applicants for peer support groups and the trained peers involved in the peer support programs; and
  • material to support the management of the proposed changes, e.g., presentations of the results obtained under this contract and training material suitable for professional audiences.

The requested output

The contractor is required to produce the following:

  • a state-of-the-art synopsis that is perceived by the tenderer as relevant to the conduct of the current study, i.e., recent (2015 to date) scientific literature, analytical methods, as well as methods to assess and compare:
    • mental health and wellbeing status;
    • the impact of comorbidities, lifestyle, use or misuse of psychoactive substances;
    • the patient’s own perception of health-related quality of life; and
    • the patient’s own psychosocial perception of life and environment;
  • an outline of the research approach that is proposed to tackle each task together with a succinct rationale justifying its adoption;
  • a list of perceived risks and assumptions that may undermine the fulfilment of all or some of the objectives put forward by this tender;
  • deliverables that describe in detail the results of each task;
  • any other additional element considered relevant that may bear on the duly completion of the work, e.g., access to relevant information, required input from third parties.