4 April 2015
The Philippine Civil Aviation Authority (CAAP) announced that it has introduced a new aviation rule that will make it compulsory for two people to remain in the cockpit at all times following the Germanwings forced-crash last week which investigators believe was caused deliberately by the co-pilot after locking the pilot out of the cockpit.
An Airbus A320-200 plane of Germanwings crashed in French Alps last March 24 after its 27-year-old co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit after the latter went on a lavatory break. All 150 people on board were killed.
CAAP amended Part 1 of the Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations (PCAR) with the following provisions of Part 9 to include Paragraph (3) to subsection 18.104.22.168 (c) Security of Flight Compartment thus: Apart from the two pilots, a flight crewmember, preferably male but not necessarily a pilot, shall be required to be inside the flight deck.
In the event that either one of the pilots who would like to get out of the cockpit for lavatory break or other reasons, another crew member will have to be inside the cockpit.
CAAP rules also require that the cockpit door is closed and locked from the time all external doors are closed after embarkation until disembarkation. The only exception is to permit access and egress by authorized persons.
It also requires that the entire door area outside the flight crew compartment shall be monitored to identify persons requesting entry and to detect suspicious behavior or potential threat.
The amendment order was approved and signed by CAAP Director General William K Hotchkiss lll in April 1 and applies to all domestic and international airlines operating in the Philippines.
The new rule also requires Philippine pilot license holder to undergo twice-a-year psycho and neuro tests.