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CBS News: "United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby Addresses Pilot Mental Health Concerns Amid Surge in Air Travel"

Following recent scares involving pilots, and as a record number of travelers take to the skies, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby told "CBS Mornings" that the company works to make sure pilots' mental health is "in a good place."

Analisa Novak

Kirby said United pilots undergo training every nine months, including simulator sessions designed to prepare them for scenarios that he said will hopefully never happen. The training, combined with the airline's policies, aim to ensure pilots are mentally and physically fit to handle the stresses of flying.

"We have all kinds of policies in place where people can, whether it's a mental health or substance abuse, anything that's going on in their lives, illness, even fatigue, that they can call off and not come to work without penalties, without repercussions, and they have really good protections to ensure that that doesn't happen," said Kirby.

Last month, an off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot was accused of trying to shut down a plane's engines midflight while catching a ride in the cockpit from Washington state to San Francisco. There have also been a number of pilots speaking out about not seeking mental health treatment for fear of losing their jobs.

In response, the Federal Aviation Administration recently announced it is creating a new committee that will examine pilot mental health and some challenges pilots face in reporting mental health issues to the agency.

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