Canada's airline cockpit safety order pleases Winnipeg travellers
Some were surprised the two-crew-member rule didn't already exist in Canada
News that Canadian airlines must now maintain two crew members in the flight decks of passenger aircraft at all times comes as a relief to passengers at Winnipeg's airport today.
Federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt announced the order on Thursday, following revelations that a Germanwings co-pilot apparently caused the crash of Flight 4U9525 after preventing the pilot from returning to the cockpit.
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"This order is seeking to fill a gap that is in the rules, that's what that order does," she told reporters.
The move surprised travellers at Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson Airport like Mario Palumbo, who thought such a rule already existed.
"I agree completely. I'm surprised it's not mandatory throughout the world," he said.
"It'll reassure me somewhat; yeah, I mean, there should be," said Randy Groth, another traveller.
Just prior to Raitt's announcement, Air Canada and Air Transat both said they were changing their policies to ensure that there are always two people in the cockpit on their flights.
The Germanwings incident also raised questions about how pilots are screened.
In Canada, pilots are examined every year, but Groth said it may not be enough.
"I mean, you can get screened one day but six months down the road things happen in your life and you snap."
Heather Benson, who was sending off her son to England for a school trip, also agreed with the new rule.
She said while she's confident in existing pilot screening processes, she's worried about other possible solo cockpit incidents.
"Well, who's looking after everything? There's a lot of button and gadgets and gizmos and stuff," she said. "If there's only one person in there and something's flashing behind you, do you know what's going on?"