Germanwings Crash Sees Airlines Including Easyjet And Thomas Cook Change Cockpit Rules

EasyJet Among Airlines Changing Cockpit Rules After Fatal Germanwings Crash

In the wake of the fatal Germanwings crash in the French Alps, several airlines have announced new procedures to ensure two crew members are in the cockpit at all times during flights.

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority said it had contacted all UK operators to urge them to review safety procedures in the wake of Tuesday’s tragedy, which saw the loss of 150 lives.

Monarch, easyJet, Virgin Atlantic and Thomas Cook all confirmed they had changed their policies, while Ryanair, Jet2 and Flybe said they already required two crew members to be in the cockpit at all times.

A number of airlines say they will now ensure two crew members are in the cockpit at all times during flights

It comes as it emerged Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz apparently locked himself in the cockpit and deliberately crashed the plane into the mountains below.

Norwegian Air Shuttle, along with Air Canada, say they will now also require a minimum of two crew members in the cockpit while a plane is in the air.

It comes after the fatal Germanwings crash on Tuesday which saw the co-pilot deliberately pilot the aircraft into the mountains

A group representing Germany's biggest airlines, including Lufthansa and Air Berlin, say they plan similar rules.

German Aviation Association spokeswoman Christine Kolmar said the plan will be presented to German aviation authorities on Friday and the airlines will implement it "as soon as possible."

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Canada's government also issued an immediate order requiring two crew members to be in the flight deck at all times.

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said the government is reviewing all policies and procedures and is watching the situation in Europe closely.

Following the 11 September, 2001 terrorist attacks, US airlines revamped their policies regarding staffing in the cockpit. But the procedure is not standard in Europe or Canada.

According to US rules, whenever the cockpit door is open, flight attendants create a barrier between the cockpit and passengers. Typically, that is done with a beverage cart but some jets are outfitted with a mesh wire barricade. If a pilot leaves to use the bathroom, one of the flight attendants takes his or her seat in the cockpit.

Some European airlines, like Finnair and Czech national airline CSA, operate under similar procedures. But many did not prior to Tuesday's Germanwings crash.

A photo believed to be of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz

European investigators said Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz barricaded himself inside the cockpit of the Airbus jetliner and deliberately crashed it into a mountainside, killing all 150 passengers and crew aboard.

Norwegian spokeswoman Charlotte Holmbergh-Jacobsson said the new rules will be adopted "as soon as possible" on all commercial flights globally. She said that the airline's security department had been thinking about the measure "for a while, and today decided on it."

Air Canada, Canada's largest airline, said it will implement its change "without delay" the policy change. The country's other airlines, Westjet and Transat, also said it would make the change immediately. Porter airlines said it policy has always been to have at least two crew in the flight deck at all times.

EasyJet said its new rules will take effect Friday.

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