European low-cost carrier Norwegian is to change its procedures so that two crew members are always present in the cockpit in light of today's developments appearing to show the Germanwings Airbus A320 lost over the French Alps on 24 March was deliberately crashed by the co-pilot.
Based on the cockpit voice recording recovered from the crashed aircraft, the French public prosecutor today revealed that the co-pilot initiated the descent from cruising altitude after the captain had left the cockpit, adding that the altitude change could not have happened unintentionally.
Norwegian is now acting to change its cockpit procedures. "Norwegian has been looking into changing its cockpit procedures for a while. However, in light of the tragic Germanwings accident, we are speeding up the process so that two crew members always are present in the cockpit," it says in a statement.
"This means that if one of the pilots leaves the cockpit, one crew member must replace him/her during this time. Our passengers’ and crew’s safety always comes first, which is why we have decided to change our procedures, in line with US regulations."
The airline says there are no European regulatory requirements stating that two crew members must be in the cockpit at all times. It adds the new procedures will be implemented as soon as Norwegian has received an approval from the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority. EasyJet is also reportedly changing its procedures along similar lines.