Australia Enforces Two-Person Cockpit Rule

30th Mar 2015

The Australian government enforced a new rule on Monday, mandating airlines to always have two people in the cockpit of RPT (regular public transport) flights. The 'two-person cockpit rule' was implemented in response to the Germanwings flight 4U 9525 tragedy where 150 passengers and crew were killed last week.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss noted that this rule would be enforced immediately.

The rule, which requires a flight attendant to stand in whenever the co-pilot or pilot leaves the cockpit, will be administered on all international and domestic flights by Australian airlines with 50 or more passengers. The airlines include Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Qantas, and Tigerair Australia.

International airlines, including Lufthansa, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Monarch Airlines, Air Berlin, Thomas Cook, Easyjet, and Virgin Atlantic, are now making appropriate changes to their operational procedures or considering the two-person cockpit rule.

Australia follows Canada and New Zealand in implementing the rule in the aftermath of the Germanwings crash. U.S. airlines have been enforcing the same rule even before the said tragedy happened. Meanwhile, European aviation officials have been mulling the introduction of the same rule.

Truss discussed the issue with the airlines to guarantee that the new rule would not introduce other safety issues. According to him, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (aviation regulator) and the government would deliberate other measures to boost cockpit and airline security,