EASA urges two in cockpit


Europe’s aviation watchdog recommended on Friday that two people be present in plane cockpits at all times after a lone rogue pilot apparently deliberately crashed a Germanwings jet in March, killing all 150 people on board.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said pilots should ‘undergo psychological evaluation’ during training or before entering service and face random drug and alcohol tests, although investigators have not cited those substances as factors in the Germanwings tragedy.

“This report is the result of a thorough analysis with practical recommendations so that such a tragic event does not happen again,” EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky said.

Investigators say that 27-year-old German Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who had a history of severe depression, intentionally slammed the Airbus A320 into the French Alps.

Immediately after the crash, the EASA published a ‘temporary recommendation for airlines to ensure that at least two crew, including at least one qualified pilot, are in the flight crew compartment at all times of the flight’.

Many European airlines already enforced such a measure before the crash and others have adopted it since.

After a three-month review ordered by the European Commission, the EU executive arm, EASA confirmed the recommendation and said it would look at the situation again after a year.

Airlines will have to ensure that the psychological evaluations are carried out properly, it said.