Aviation and Space Psychology test centre

At the test centre of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Hamburg, pilots and air traffic controllers are tested to evaluate their professional aptitude. The goal is to increase flight safety across the entire aviation industry.

In the Institute’s Aviation and Space Psychology department, aptitude tests are conducted to assess the reliability of pilots and air traffic controllers (ATC) in terms of performance and personality. The aim is to ensure that the operators are fit to perform their jobs. Each year, around 10,000 psychological suitability investigations are conducted at DLR test centres.

Aptitude testing for air traffic controllers and pilots

The main purpose of this testing facility is to increase flight safety across the entire aviation industry. Airlines and ATC organisations also gain economic advantages by selecting suitable staff. This is because the human element is an important factor in aviation safety; on the one hand, people can enhance the reliability of technical systems, but on the other hand, due to their susceptibility to errors, they also pose the greatest risk. Insufficient communication and cooperation or non-systematic decision-making are more common causes of incidents than the weather or technology, for instance. Aptitude testing of pilots and air traffic controllers is thus an essential step to delivering safe aviation.


Volker Speelmann

Head of Research Infrastructures
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Executive Board department for Innovation, Transfer and Research Infrastructure
Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne

Dr. Dipl.-Psych. Viktor Oubaid

Deputy Head of Aerospace Psychology
German Aerospace Center
Institute of Aerospace Medicine
Aerospace Psychology
Sportallee 54a, 22335 Hamburg