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Rescue workers sift through the debris after the Germanwings disaster in the French Alps last week.
Rescue workers sift through the debris after the Germanwings disaster in the French Alps last week.
Image: AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani

The Germanwings tragedy is forcing lots of countries to rethink airline safety

Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz apparently locked the captain out of the cockpit before crashing the Germanwings flight.
Mar 30th 2015, 11:40 AM 12,371 28

AUSTRALIA HAS BECOME the latest country to make it mandatory that two people be present in the cockpit at all times on commercial flights in the wake of the Germanwings tragedy.

Regulators in Canada and New Zealand have already introduced the so-called “rule of two” after it emerged that Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz apparently locked the captain out of the flight deck as part of a deliberate plan to crash the plane.

Today Australia’s infrastructure minister, Warren Truss, said that all local aircraft on both domestic and international routes would always need to have two people in the cockpit from now on.

The new rule applied to planes with 50 or more seats and it would mean flight attendants took the cockpit “jump seat”, as opposed to the vacant control seat, if the captain or co-pilot left their station.

There are currently no regulations in Europe that make the policy mandatory, although several airlines – including low-cost carriers EasyJet and Norwegian Air Shuttle, and Germanwings parent Lufthansa – have said they will introduce the practice.

The Irish Aviation Authority already requires two people in the cockpit at all times on any flights from local airlines that have mandatory locked cabin doors, although the implementation of this is left up to the carriers.

Both Ryanair and Aer Lingus confirmed the “rule of two” was part of their policies.

If a pilot needs to visit the bathroom the cabin crew supervisor is required to stand in the cockpit for these brief periods,” Ryanair’s spokesman said last week.

In the US, the practice was first put in place after the September 11 terror attacks over a decade ago, when stricter airline safety measures were rolled out across the board.

Germany France Plane Crash Tributes in Germany to victims of the Germanwings crash Source: AP Photo/Martin Meissner

‘For God’s sake, open the door’

German newspaper Bild yesterday published a transcript reportedly from Germanwings flight 4U 9525′s recovered black box recorder.

It revealed the captain, referred to as “Patrick S”, shouting “For God’s sake, open the door” amid passengers’ screams in the minutes before the plane veered into a mountainside, killing all 150 people on board.

READ: Poll: Has the Germanwings disaster made you nervous about flying? >

READ: Germanwings pilot makes emotional speech in cabin to reassure passengers >

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Peter Bodkin

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