Airliners To Require Two Crew Members In Cockpits


Airlines around the world said Thursday they’ll start requiring two crew members in the cockpit at all times. The change comes after details emerged that the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 deliberately locked the captain outside the cockpit and crashed the jet into the French Alps on Tuesday, killing all aboard. Norwegian Air Shuttle announced it has been considering the change and now is “speeding up the process.” The low-cost European carrier said the new rule will take effect upon approval from Norway’s aviation authority. The Associated Press reported that other carriers, including Britain’s EasyJet and Air Canada, also will adopt the procedure. The policy has been in place among U.S. airlines following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, requiring that a flight attendant sit in the cockpit if one pilot leaves. Some European airlines, such as Finland’s Finnair, already have a similar policy, the AP reported.

The Airbus crashed about 47 minutes into the mid-morning flight from Barcelona to Dusseldorf, killing all 144 passengers and six crew members. The search continues for the flight data recorder, but the cockpit voice recorder revealed that the German co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, deliberately began a descent from 38,000 feet while the captain was away from the cockpit. The captain could be heard on the recording banging on the door with no response from Lubitz, then the sounds of screaming in the final moments before the Airbus 320 slammed into a mountain, CNN reported Thursday. The A320 cockpit door can be opened from the outside with a code, but it’s not certain whether Lubitz activated a lock from inside the cockpit that would have prevented the captain from opening it, according to the CNN report.