European air authority to recommend 2 crew in cockpit

Airlines and officials around the world are starting to impose the rule

In this undated photo provided by the French Interior Ministry, French emergency rescue services work at the site of the Germanwings jet that crashed on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 near Seyne-les-Alpes, France. The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and intentionally rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain's frantic pounding on the door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday. (AP Photo/French Interior Ministry, Francis Pellier)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Europe’s aviation safety agency will recommend Friday that airlines across the continent always have two people in the cockpit of a flying aircraft, according to Scandinavian authorities.

Airlines and officials around the world are starting to impose the rule after details emerged that the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 had apparently locked himself in the cockpit and deliberated crashed the plane into the mountains below.

Scandinavian Airlines group spokesman Henrik Edstrom told The Associated Press the carrier had received a draft of the recommendation from the European Aviation Safety Agency through Swedish transport authorities. Henrik Olars of the Swedish Transport Agency confirmed they got it from the Germany-based EASA.

“We always follow the recommendations we get from the national authorities, which in turn got it from the European agency,” Edstrom said.

A draft recommendation was going around but had not been an approved yet, according to the Association of European Airlines that groups 29 major European airlines.

“EASA will be release it later Friday,” said Henrik Olars of the Swedish Transport Agency

EASA spokesman Ilias Maragakis called it “an ongoing process” and all stakeholders needed to be heard.

German airline Germania, which flies to more than 140 destinations in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, introduced the two-person rule with immediate effect.

Denmark’s Transport Minister Magnus Heunicke said earlier Friday a recommendation will be sent to all airlines with a base in the Scandinavian country to have two people in the cockpit when in the air.

He added that the Danish Transport Authority also would review all physical and mental tests of pilots flying to and from Denmark. German news media have depicted co-pilot Andreas Lubitz as a man with a history of depression who had received psychological treatment.

On Thursday, Europe’s third largest budget airline, Norwegian Air Shuttle, said it would have two crew members to always be present in the cockpit of a flying aircraft on all commercial flights globally. Several others have followed.

Copyright 2015 Associated Press

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