Germanwings crash prompts two-person cockpit rule

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Several European airlines are planning a two-person cockpit rule as Germany tries to comprehend why a lone co-pilot allegedly perpetrated Tuesday’s Germanwings crash. The rule is already standard in the United States.

Germany’s BDL aviation federation announced late Thursday that airlines such as Lufthansa and Air Berlin intended to immediately enact the two-person rule in consultation with the Federal Office of Civil Aviation.

A French prosecutor said Thursday that the recovered voice recorder indicated that the Germanwings’ co-pilot kept the chief pilot locked out of the cockpit and deliberately let the plane crash into a French alpine range.

All 150 people on board, including 75 Germans, 50 Spaniards and nationals of 14 other nations, were killed on the flight from Barcelona to Dsseldorf. Victims’ families visited the crash site on Thursday.

BDL chief executive Matthias von Randow said in the future no pilot would be allowed to remain alone in a cockpit during a flight.

Two other German airlines, Condor and TuiFly, had also agreed to adopt the rule-change, he told the German news agency DPA.

The move was welcomed by German parliamentarian and government transport spokesman Arnold Vaatz, who said it would be a “confidence-building signal.”

The German pilots’ trade union urged caution. Its president, Ilja Schulz, said it was also important to examine “which disadvantages” could result from changing procedures.

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