Lufthansa reverses course, will now adopt a “two person” cockpit rule

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Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has shifted its previous position and will now adopt a “two person” cockpit policy according to CNN for the entire Lufthansa Group. Yesterday in a press conference, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr stated he felt their current procedures were sufficient although he left open the possibility the group would discuss this policy with German authorities. While having a second person in the cockpit at all times is not the complete answer, it may have prevented the Germanwings tragic crash.

Lufthansa issued this statement:

In coordination with the Luftfahrtbundesamt (Germany’s aviation authority), the other German airlines and the German aviation industry association (Bundesverband der deutschen Luftverkehrswirtschaft), the airlines of the Lufthansa Group are to adopt a new cockpit occupancy procedure as a precautionary measure. Under the new procedure, two authorized persons must be present in the cockpit at all times during a flight.

The passenger airlines of the Lufthansa Group will adopt the new procedure as soon as possible, in due consultation with their national aviation authority.

The Lufthansa Group is also expanding its safety structures. In addition to the safety pilots at each of its member airlines, the new position of Group Safety Pilot has been created until further notice. The new post will be assumed with immediate effect by Captain Werner Maas, who will hold it in parallel with his current function as Safety Pilot of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Captain Maas will have overarching groupwide responsibility for examining and further refining all flight safety-relevant procedures in his new capacity, in which he reports directly to Group CEO Carsten Spohr.

Related to this, our informal poll yesterday showed our readers favored this change by almost a nine to one ratio. There was strong public pressure on Lufthansa (and other airlines) to make this change.

As we previously reported, Norwegian, easyJet and Air Malta have already made this change. Air Canada, WestJet, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and Airberlin have also adopted this policy. Ryanair, following the lead of the FAA and U.S. airlines, already had this policy in place before the accident.

CNN’s interview with Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr: