The cockpit of Airbus A320 that crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday was equipped with an armored door that could be unlocked only from inside the cabin, in accordance with strict regulations adopted after the 9/11 tragedy in the US, a spokesperson for Germanwings explained.
The budget carrier Airbus A320 crashed on March 25, in the French Alps. The tragedy claimed the lives of 150 passengers and the crew. According to Marseille public prosecutor Brice Robin, one of the pilots left the cockpit for a short period of time but could not get back in because his counterpart refused to unlock the door. A spokesperson for Germanwings confirmed that the armored cockpit door could be opened only "from inside."
"There is a video surveillance system that allows someone who wants to enter the cockpit to be identified. Only a pilot inside can unlock the door," the spokesperson said.
The system was adopted by leading American and European carriers after the tragedy of September 11, 2001 that resulted in almost 3,000 deaths. EASA, The European Aviation Safety Agency and the FAA, the US Federal Aviation Administration, carried out special measures aimed at preventing the takeover of passenger planes.
Such systems are equipped with secret code mechanisms allowing a person outside the cockpit to turn off the access blocking. However, if the pilot inside was determined not to open the door, nobody outside would be able to get in, sector specialists confirmed.
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