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Airlines Worldwide Rush To Adopt '2-Person' Cockpit Rule

A Southwest Airlines pilot and co-pilot preparing for a flight from Dallas last year. In the wake of the Germanwings crash this week, many European airlines are rushing to adopt a two-person cockpit rule similar to the one already in place in the U.S.
LM Otero

The global aviation industry is moving swiftly to change policies to reassure the traveling public in the wake of the apparently deliberate crash of an airliner into the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard.

Airlines from around the world have announced that they will begin requiring two crew members in the cockpit at all times after investigators on Thursday announced that the crash of Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 occurred when the co-pilot locked the pilot out of the cockpit and placed the Airbus A320 into a deliberate descent.

The changes include requiring two people in the cockpit at all times. In the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration already requires this.

Lufthansa, the parent of Germanwings, issued a statement today saying it was moving to the "rule of two" policy as a "precautionary measure."

"Under the new procedure, two authorized persons must be present in the cockpit at all times during a flight," the airline said.

The BBC says: "Air Canada, Westjet and charter airline Air Transat, Norwegian Air Shuttle, major German airlines including Lufthansa and Air Berlin, EasyJet, Monarch Airlines, Virgin and Thomas Cook have all confirmed they are changing their safety policies."

New Zealand's 3 News says: "National carrier Air New Zealand and Emirates – which flies to and from New Zealand – have both issued statements today, saying they would be making the change."

Canada's Federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt announced that all airlines there will be required to abide by the two crew-member rule.

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Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
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