EasyJet and Virgin to ensure two people are in the cockpit at all times
As we would have expected, airlines have been quick to react to the tragedy of the German Wings aircraft that had apparently been flown deliberately into a mountain by the co-pilot whilst the captain was not on the flight deck and locked out, resulting in the death of all 150 passengers on board. EasyJet announced that the new ruling would come into effect immediately and it is expected that all other airlines will follow.
The move from EasyJet comes after the Civil Aviation Authority had urged airlines to immediately review their policies and procedures to avoid one person being left alone on the flight deck. Naturally as they have pointed out the safety of passengers and crew has to be the airlines top priority, a spokesman for Virgin has also commented along the same lines, saying that it would be their policy to ensure two people were always on the flight deck.
Package holiday operator and airline Thomas Cook has also said that they will ensure that it is a company requirement that two people are in the cockpit at all times and some other carrier have said that they already operate this policy already. Budget airlines Ryanair, Monarch and Jet2 said they already had policies to ensure that two crew are in the cockpit at all times.
Additionally Monarch said they had an ‘eyes-on’ rule, this means that a member of cabin crew enter the cockpit to check on the pilot and co-pilot. Jet2 said that this had been their rule for a number of years, FlyBe also confirmed that this was their policy too; British Airways and BMI Regional declined to comment.
Flying is extremely safe and we can confirm that all UK airline pilots undergo extensive and regular medical assessments to determine their fitness to hold a licence. As part of this, specially qualified medical examiners are required to assess a commercial pilot’s mental health at each medical examination, which is an annual requirement.