The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has released a guideline recommending that there should be two crew members in the cockpits of all passenger aircraft when they are airborne. The recommendation follows last week’s fatal accident in which the co-pilot of a Germanwings flight is believed to have deliberately crashed into a French mountain.
Patrick Ky is the executive-director of EASA and he says that while the world is still grieving for the 150 victims of the Flight 9525 disaster, passenger safety is of paramount importance. He expounded by saying the agency would be focusing on the wellbeing and security of passengers while they were on board aircraft operated by carriers flying in and out of Europe.
Late last week, Germanwings parent company Lufthansa said it would be adopting a two-crew-per-cockpit policy as soon as it possibly could. The spokesperson stated the regulation would also apply to its other subsidiaries, Swiss Air and Austrian Airlines.
A whole raft of other airlines including Ryanair, EasyJet, Air Canada and Virgin Atlantic say they are in the process of, or have already made, the policy mandatory. In Australia yesterday, the government enacted legislation requiring that a flight attendant stand in as a substitute if one of the pilots leaves the cockpit.
The ruling took immediate effect and applies to all flights with over 50 passengers on board. UK national carrier British Airways has not yet confirmed whether it will implement the requirement, but a representative did tell reporters on Friday that the carrier never revealed its security procedures.