All commercial flights in Canada must have two crew members in the cockpit at all times, Transport Canada announced Thursday afternoon.
Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said the new policy would be effective immediately for all airlines carrying passengers.
The announcement follows a similar policy change for Air Canada, which also announced Thursday it will require two crew members to be in the cockpit of all flights at all times.
The company confirmed to CTV News Thursday that it will be implementing the policy change “without delay.”
Other airlines that also announced they’d be adopting the policy include Air Transat and Norwegian Air Shuttle.
The change was made after French officials concluded Thursday that the co-pilot of the Germanwings airliner deliberately locked the captain out of the cockpit as he “intentionally” crashed the plane into a mountain in the French Alps.
The co-pilot, identified as 27-year-old Andreas Lubitz, could be heard breathing normally as he steered the Airbus A320 into the side of a mountain. In audio recording retrieved from the plane’s black box, the captain can be heard pounding on the locked cockpit door.
It is standard protocol for U.S. carriers to always have at least two crew members in the cockpit at all times. European and Canadian carriers are not required to follow the same policy.
On U.S. carriers, when a pilot leaves the cockpit another crew member must take their place. The policy is intended to ensure that, if the second pilot becomes incapacitated, the additional crew member can fetch the other pilot for help.