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Airlines agree two-person cockpit rule

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Airlines agree two-person cockpit rule
Photo: DPA
08:16 CET+01:00
The Federation of the German Air Travel Industry (BDL) confirmed on Friday afternoon that from now on two people must be in the cockpit at all times, in a bid to avoid a repeat of the Germanwings disaster.

“The decision is made,” BDL spokeswoman Christine Kolmar had told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung earlier in the day, adding that the rule would be “implemented as quickly as possible”.

In future, no pilot will be left alone in the cockpit, after French prosecutors revealed on Thursday that Germanwings flight 4U9525 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had apparently crashed the plane deliberately, killing himself and 149 passengers and crew.

The change to the rules was agreed with the transport ministry and Federal Office for Air Travel (Luftfahrtbundesamt) on Friday afternoon.

The European Air Safety Agency also published a recommendation on Friday for two people to be in the cockpit at all times.

In a statement, Patrick Ky, EASA Executive Director, said "while we are still mourning the victims, all our efforts focus on improving the safety and security of passengers and crews".

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr had told ARD television on Thursday evening that the airlines had decided to consider "whether there are measures we can take in the short term that will increase safety even further".

The move followed demands from politicians that airlines take action to avoid a repeat of the tragedy.

“I'm for the idea that in future someone from the cabin crew must always be in the cockpit while either the pilot or the co-pilot leaves,” Christian Democratic Union (CDU) deputy leader Arnold Vaatz told the Rheinische Post on Friday.

Foreign airlines including Easyjet, Norwegian and Air Canada have already decided to introduce the so-called “four-eyes rule”.

“Two people must be in the cockpit, starting from now,” a spokeswoman for Norwegian said on Thursday.

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