|EX-YU airlines enforcing "rule of two"|
Air Serbia and Adria Airways have implemented the “rule of two” several years ago, which requires for two crew members to be present on the flight deck at any given time during the flight, while Croatia Airlines introduced the new rules yesterday. Airlines across the world have ushered in the policy after it emerged the co-pilot of Germanwings flight 9525, who was at the controls on his own, had apparently locked himself in the cockpit before crashing the plane into the mountains below on Tuesday, claiming the lives of all 150 on board. Croatia Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle, major German airlines including Lufthansa and Air Berlin, easyJet, Monarch Airlines, Virgin and Thomas Cook have all confirmed they are changing their safety policies. However, Air Serbia and Adria Airways have had this rule in place for several years.
In a statement, Air Serbia said, “We have implemented the procedure where at least two crew members must be in the cockpit at any given time, including a member of the cabin crew if the captain or co-pilot leaves the flight deck, more than two years ago. This procedure was approved by the Civil Aviation Directorate and is strictly adhered to and regularly communicated to the crew during pre-flight briefings”. Sandi Slodej, Adria Airways’ Head of Training, says the rule has been enforced by the Slovenian carrier for several years. “These instructions are written in our flight manuals”, Mr. Slodej said.
However, Croatia Airlines introduced the new policy only yesterday. In a statement, it said, “Croatia Airlines will today begin enforcing the operational procedure where two members of the crew must be at the flight deck at all times”. The Croatian Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Siniša Hajdaš Dončić, commented on the Germanwings tragedy yesterday by saying, “Croatia Airlines is not a low cost airline and is one of the safest airlines in the world. Something like this simply couldn’t happen at Croatia Airlines”. The carrier’s pilots have recently criticised the company’s Pay to Fly scheme, introduced last year, which is enforced mainly by low cost airlines. Novice pilots who already have a basic licence must pay some 30.000 euros to achieve the "type rating" qualification needed to fly particular aircraft. Previously, pilots would first be hired by the airline before they underwent training. The controversial measure is allowed in most European countries but banned in the United States. However, the measure does not impact on passenger safety in any way.
In wake of the Germanwings disaster, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said in future two crew members should be present in the cockpit at all times.