A prosecutor in Marseille has said the Germanwings plane may have been deliberately crashed by the co-pilot, with the pilot locked out of the cockpit. How could this situation arise? According to the US Federal Aviation Administration, doors should typically be tough enough to withstand a grenade blast. They are usually left locked throughout the flight. Cockpit security systems are supposed to allow a pilot the ability to access the cockpit. But access can be deliberately denied from within the cockpit. Cockpit doors on an Airbus - according to this video understood to have been produced by the company - have three modes that are operated from the pilots' seats: unlock, normal, lock.
Flight Deck Barriers Are Critical for Security
This copy is for your personal non-commercial use only. Canadian airlines quickly moved to require two crew members inside the cockpit at all times after voice recordings from the Germanwings crash revealed that the pilot was pounding on the door to get inside. Air Canada was first out of the gate on Thursday with the change, quickly followed by other airlines including Air Transat and WestJet Airlines. Porter Airlines said it has always maintained the two-person crew rule in the flight deck at all times.
Washington -- In response to President Bush's call to strengthen aircraft security, the U. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration FAA today published new standards to protect cockpits from intrusion and small arms fire or fragmentation devices, such as grenades. The Aviation and Transportation Security Act authorizes the FAA to issue today's final rule that requires operators of more than 6, airplanes to install reinforced doors by April 9, Concurrent with the rule, the FAA is also issuing a Special Federal Aviation Regulation SFAR to require operators to install temporary internal locking devices within 45 days on all passenger airplanes and cargo airplanes that have cockpit doors.
Every large commercial plane flying in the United States will have bulletproof cockpit doors by next week, but airline security experts say the design doesn't provide the best possible protection against a hijacker entering. The Federal Aviation Administration requires that cockpit doors be locked during flight, according to agency spokesman Les Dorr. But there are times when a pilot may open the door — to visually check wing surfaces, use the bathroom and change flight crews during a long trip.