Norwegian is changing its regulations to ensure there are always two crew members present in the cockpit, it was announced today.
The low-cost carrier is the first airline to instigate a change in procedure following Tuesday’s tragedy that saw a Germanwings A320 aircraft crash in the French Alps, killing all 150 people on-board (see news, March 24).
After examining one of the plane’s flight recorders, French prosecutors today said it is likely that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked his captain out of the cockpit and deliberately downed the aircraft.
In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, all US airlines must have at least two crew members present in the cockpit at all times. The same law does not apply in the EU.
Norwegian said in a statement: “Norwegian has been looking into changing its cockpit procedures for a while. However, in light of the tragic Germanwings accident, we are speeding up the process so that two crew members always are present in the cockpit.
“This means that if one of the pilots leaves the cockpit, one crew member must replace him/her during this time… We have decided to change our procedures, in line with US regulations.”
Norwegian said it will implement the change as soon as it receives approval from the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority.