Following the tragedy of Germanwings flight 4U 9525, in which 150 people died, all airlines based in Portugal are now obliged to ensure they have two pilots in the cockpit of every flight at all times. The announcement was made by Secretary of State for Transports Sérgio Monteiro on the recommendation of INAC, Portugal’s civil aviation authority.
It thus binds TAP, SATA, Euroatlantic, White and HiFly airways.
The news comes as bit by bit countries all over the world are agreeing no flight should ever be left in the sole charge of one pilot.
Australia announced its new two-pilot-in-the-cockpit ruling on Monday and Canada, Germany and companies easyJet and Norwegian Air Shuttle are also now ‘onboard’ with strict new controls.
America already had a “tight rule” that requires two crew members on the flight deck at all times, so the Federal Aviation Authority may not introduce any policy changes.
But professor of aviation and aerospace science at Denver’s Metropolitan State University Kevin Kuhlmann admitted that the US rule may not be enough.
He told the Denver Post that it “wouldn’t necessarily stop a pilot from crashing a plane if the pilot could overpower the flight attendant temporarily occupying the cockpit seat”.
Thus it remains to be seen whether new rules are brought in regarding access to a cockpit locked from the inside.