German pilots says Germanwings probe recommendations 'balanced'

13th March 2016, Comments 0 comments

Germany's pilot union Cockpit on Sunday welcomed safety recommendations made by French investigators probing the Germanwings plane crash, calling them a "balanced package of measures".

"The safety recommendations... form a balanced package of measures to prevent a repeat of such disasters," said Markus Wahl, spokesman for the union, calling for it to be "implemented in its entirety".

A Germanwings plane was deliberately flown into a French mountainside by its co-pilot Andreas Lubitz in March last year in a tragedy that cost 150 lives and raised unprecedented aviation safety questions.

In their final conclusions on the disaster, BEA civil aviation experts recommended more stringent medical checks for pilots, but stopped short of suggesting changes to the current system of flight deck door locks, which can only be opened by the pilot in the cockpit.

"Clearer rules are needed to establish when it is necessary to lift medical confidentiality," investigator Arnaud Desjardin said at the launch of the BEA report.

France's main pilots union, the SNPL, warned however that lifting medical confidentiality "would not help much" and called instead for improved monitoring of pilots, providing it was not done in "a punitive spirit".

© 2016 AFP

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