Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has announced that he is reintroducing legislation covering controversial new regulations which would limit access to an aircraft’s flightdeck during flight, despite the same regulations being voted down by the Senate last year.
Under the proposed legislation, which would take effect from May 22, only the operating pilots and those with an operational, safety, security or training need would be permitted in the cockpit of an aircraft in flight.
“It is unacceptable that such an important part of aviation security has been left to industry self-regulation in the past,” said Minister Albanese.
“By restricting access to a cockpit, the government is taking a strong, practical and common sense approach to strengthen the last line of defence against unlawful interference with a plane.”
The regulations have been opposed by the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA), which says that they will decrease safety, as non-flying company pilots will not be allowed in the cockpit. AIPA is also opposed to how the new regulations would shift responsibility for flightdeck security to individual pilots. “Shifting criminal responsibility to the pilot in command undermines a long held aviation principle that the airline is ultimately responsible for the actions of its pilots,” said AIPA president Barry Jackson.