Worldwide, Airlines Respond to Tragedy with New Rules

The widespread adoption of the “rule of two” seems to be one of the likely effects of last week’s crash.

We try to learn from tragedy. The crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 in 2009 prompted changes in flight crew working conditions. Last year, the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 spurred conversation about modernizing flight tracking technology. And the widespread adoption of the “rule of two” seems to be one of the likely effects of last week’s crash of a Germanwings flight.

The idea that more than one person should remain in the cockpit is not a new one. U.S. airlines already have a rule that at least two crew members must remain in the cockpit at all times, but other airlines, countries, and airline safety agencies are now moving fast on instituting similar requirements.

Lufthansa has announced that all of its carriers—including Germanwings, Austrian Airlines, and Lufthansa—will require two authorized crew members in the cockpit at all times. The European Aviation Safety Agency has recommended that all European airlines institute similar rules. Around the world, dozens of airlines as well as the government of Australia have responded to the crash with new requirements to prevent one person from being in the cockpit alone during flights.

Do you think more airlines imposing cockpit rules like this will make flights safer?

By Christine Sarkis

There's a 95 percent chance Senior Editor Christine Sarkis is thinking about travel right now. Follow her on Instagram @postcartography and Twitter @ChristineSarkis.

Christine Sarkis is an SATW-award-winning journalist and executive editor at SmarterTravel. Her stories have also appeared on USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, Huffington Post, and Business Insider. Her advice has been featured in dozens of print and online publications including The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and People magazine. She has also shared travel tips on television and radio shows including Good Morning America, Marketplace, and Here & Now. Her work has been published in the anthologies Spain from a Backpack and The Best Women's Travel Writing 2008. She is currently working on a travel memoir.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: The Trtl Pillow. It's easy to pack and comfortable, and makes it so I can actually sleep on flights.

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Seeing the Aurora Borealis from the comfort of somewhere warm, like a glass igloo or hot spring.

Travel Motto: Curiosity is an amazing compass.

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: Aisle all the way.

Email Christine Sarkis at editor@smartertravel.com.

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