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SWISS to abolish two-persons-in-the-cockpit rule

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is to abolish its present two-persons-in-the-cockpit rule, with effect from 1 May. The action follows an extensive safety and security review which has concluded that the rule, which was introduced as a precautionary measure in 2015, does not enhance flight safety.

pilots in cockpitThe action is being taken following a structured safety, security and risk analysis that has been conducted by the carrier and coordinated with similar risk assessments by its fellow Lufthansa Group airlines.

These analyses have concluded that the requirement of having two crew members in the cockpit at all times during a flight does not enhance safety, and actually introduces additional risks to daily operations in flight safety terms (such as the fact that the rule results in more and longer openings of the cockpit door). SWISS also meets all the requirements demanded by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) of any airline seeking to abolish the rule:

  • ensuring suitable selection criteria and procedures to assess the psychological and safety-relevant demands made on pilots;
  • ensuring stable employment terms and conditions for cockpit personnel;
  • giving pilots (easy) access to any psychological or other support programmes they may need;
  • demonstrating an ability as a company to minimize the psychological and social risks to which pilots are exposed, such as loss of license.

SWISS’s decision to abolish its present two-persons-in-the-cockpit rule is supported by the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation, and is also being taken in close coordination with the further airlines of the Lufthansa Group.

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