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Cockpit ‘rule of two’ imposed on all Australian airlines

March 31, 2015 Aviation, Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

egtmedia59All Australian international and domestic airlines operating planes with 50 or more seats must now require at least two members of the operating crew or authorised persons to remain on the flight deck at all times.

The rule, announced yesterday by Transport Minister Warren Truss, with immediate effect, brings Australia into line with other countries like Canada and New Zealand which reacted swiftly after the Germanwings disaster. The Germanwings crash in the French Alps saw a pilot locked out of the cockpit by his colleague.

“The pilot in command of the aircraft will retain operational discretion on the application of the two flight crew cockpit requirements, to ensure safe operations, depending on flight crew circumstances,” Truss said.

Qantas and Virgin Australia reiterated that the safety of customers and employees is their number one priority.

Safety authorities in Australia will monitor the new rule to make sure it works as planned.

Qantas issued the following statement:

Following discussions with the Federal Government, regulators and industry, the Qantas Group will have two approved people in the cockpit at all times in-flight. This includes Qantas, QantasLink, Network Aviation and Jetstar flights.

When one pilot needs to leave the cockpit for any reason, another authorised person will occupy the jump seat (as distinct from the control seats occupied by the Captain and First Officer) until they return.

This policy applies to aircraft with more than 50 seats. Of a total Qantas Group fleet of around 300 aircraft, this excludes Qantaslink’s fleet of 18 Q200s and Q300s, which generally operate on short sectors of one or two

hours where the need for pilots to leave the cockpit is minimal.

Qantas Group flights have between two and four operating pilots on board, depending on duration and aircraft type.

The safety and health of customers and employees is the Qantas Group’s number one priority. We have a comprehensive safety management system that guards against risks to our operations.

There are numerous layers of screening and support for pilots, ranging from regular medical checks to stress management training, confidential counselling and pilot-to-pilot support networks.

Together with regulators and other airlines, Qantas will closely study any learnings that stem from the Germanwings tragedy to help make aviation even safer.

Our deepest sympathies are with the loved ones of all those on board flight 4U9525.

Written by : Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Bill McCall says:

    There is no such thing as a “perfect” security system, Similarly, there is no accounting for human nature, and the determination of a focused man or woman will allow them to do whatever they decide. LIve with that , or stay at home!

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