EU asks European Safety Agency EASA to look into Germanwings report findings

EU asks European Safety Agency EASA to look into Germanwings report findings
Inset: Andreas Lubitz in this September 13, 2009 file photo. The co-pilot appears to have deliberately crashed Germanwings plane carrying 149 passengers into the French Alps.

BRUSSELS - The European Commission asked the European Aviation Safety Agency on Thursday to assess a report on the causes of the Germanwings jet crash in the French Alps in March and will then decide whether to update aviation safety rules.

According to the preliminary findings from the report by France's BEA accident investigation agency, the Germanwings co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing the jet on March 24 rehearsed the manoeuvre on the morning of the disaster.

European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc asked the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to look into areas such as the cockpit door locking system, cockpit access and exit procedures and the procedures for medical checks on pilots.

Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot on the flight from Barcelona to Duesseldorf, had twice been refused medical papers needed to fly, the investigators said on Wednesday.

The EASA taskforce will gather evidence from safety and medical staff from the aviation industry as well as from regulators.

Based on its findings, the European Union will decide whether to change its aviation safety rules, the Commission said.

EASA has the power to make rules that all European airlines have to follow.

Germany has also set up a task force of aviation industry experts to look into any possible changes that should be made to medical tests for pilots and cockpit doors security.

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