Question asked by Jill Seymour (Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy, EFDD)
Subject: Aircraft security - two people in the cockpit
It has been reported that airlines may now insist that at least two people are in the cockpit at any given time, to prevent a repeat of the tragedy involving a Germanwings flight where the pilot is alleged to have locked another pilot out of the cockpit before crashing the plane in an act of suicide.
Does the Commission intend to make legislation mandating that there are always at least two people in the cockpit at any given time, as is already the case with some airlines? If so, could the Commission please provide details, including a timetable of action ?
Answer given by Ms Bulc on behalf of the Commission (20.11.2015)
Following the accident of Germanwings Flight 9525 a Task Force was convened at Commission request to analyse the preliminary findings of the accident investigation and to assess the adequacy of European air safety and security rules. That Task Force led by European Air Safety Agency (EASA) delivered in July 2015 six recommendations, one of which confirms the temporary safety measure recommended earlier to the airlines by EASA to observe the "four-eye-rule" in the cockpit.
The Commission has recently published an Action Plan developed by EASA, which outlines how the Agency intends to implement these recommendations, in collaboration with the Commission. The implementation of all actions is planned to be finished by the end of 2016.
In March and April 2016 EASA will collect and analyse data about the implementation of the 2-persons-in-the-cockpit recommendation through a specific questionnaire. A report will then be issued in June 2016 including a decision about the way forward. Depending on the outcome, acceptable means of compliance and guidance material may be developed.