Is it safe to have just one crew member in the cockpit? It was not thought so after a suicidal Germanwings pilot locked the captain out and deliberately crashed the plane into a mountain, killing all 150 people on board in 2015.
As a precautionary measure after the crash, two-persons-in-the-cockpit rule was recommended by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and adopted by several airlines. The rule requires two crew members to be present in the cockpit all the time. When one goes out, he has to be replaced by a third member.
Two years later, Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has decided to abolish this rule, with effect from May 1.
A press release by the airline says that the the action follows an extensive safety and security review which has concluded that the rule does not enhance flight safety.
The action is being taken following a structured safety, security and risk analysis that has been conducted by the carrier and coordinated with similar risk assessments by its fellow Lufthansa Group airlines, the release says.
These analyses have concluded that the requirement of having two crew members in the cockpit at all times during a flight does not enhance safety, and actually introduces additional risks to daily operations in flight safety terms (such as the fact that the rule results in more and longer openings of the cockpit door).
The European Aviation Safety Agency had revised its recommendation in 2016, offering airlines the option of abolishing the two-persons-in-the-cockpit rule provided they met the relevant further criteria. Justin Braun Womens JerseyShare This