The European Union’s aviation authority issued new recommendations on cockpit crew safety Tuesday, following an investigation of the Germanwings crash in 2015.
The crash occurred after a depressed co-pilot purposefully drove a passenger plane into the French Alps, killing all 150 people onboard.
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) recommended several new measures in an effort to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. One new suggestion would require two crew members to be in the cockpit at all times, as the co-pilot responsible for the Germanwings crash had locked the pilot out at the time of the crash.
“[It’s] not entirely burdensome on the crew at all, obviously a mitigating factor,” Matthew Robinson, an aviation expert from Robson Forensic consultancy, told Travel + Leisure of the proposed new measure. “In the whole history of commercial aviation this has happened just a few times, but if this would be a prevention agent, that’s fine.”
EASA also recommended additional drug and alcohol testing, as well as more extensive psychological evaluations. Andreas Lubitz, the suicidal co-pilot, had been allowed to continue flying despite being treated by medical professionals for psychological issues more than a dozen times in the years leading up to the March 2015 event.
“The risk assessment can be summed-up as: how well do you know your crew and how well do you control risks in your organisation,” an EASA spokesman told AFP.
The aviation authority plans to present its recommendations in the form of new legislation for the European Commission by the end of the year.