Lufthansa Tightens Safety Rules After Germanwings Crash

 / Updated  / Source: NBC News

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After the investigation into Tuesday's Germanwings air crash in France revealed the pilot had apparently set the plane on a crash course after locking out his co-pilot from the cockpit, the airlines of the Lufthansa Group announced new security measures designed to prevent future tragedies.

The airline group said Friday it will adopt the "rule of two" for cockpits, which requires two flight crew members on the flight deck at all times.

The rule is already standard on U.S. carriers. Here, when one pilot needs to leave the flight deck, another member of the crew, such as a flight attendant, takes his or her place.

Airlines in Germany and other European countries have a different set of regulations, however. Under E.U. guidelines, a pilot or co-pilot may leave to, for instance, use the restroom without getting another crew member to take his or her spot on the deck, as long as the break will not be prolonged.

Other airlines rushed Thursday to change their policies to mirror the tighter U.S. rules, including all Canadian airlines, and several British and Nordic airlines.

The Lufthansa group also announced the creation of a Group Safety Pilot position to oversee all flight safety procedures. That person will report directly to Lufthansa Group's CEO Carsten Spohr.

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--- Ben Popken

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