Germany acknowleges EU aviation concerns

Germany’s Transport Ministry has confirmed that the European Aviation Safety Agency had taken issue with the country’s aviation safety rules several months before the Germanwings crash.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Germany’s Federal Aviation Office (LBA) was warned in November to sort out problems that included a lack of staff to carry out checks on planes and crew.

The Transport Ministry acknowledged that complaints had been made by the European agency, but declined to provide details.

German aviation safety rules have come under scrutiny after investigators concluded that the budget airline Germanwings and its parent company, Lufthansa, allowed a man with suicidal tendencies to sit at the controls of an airliner.

The LBA on Sunday claimed it had not known about Andreas Lubitz’s history of severe depression until after the plane went down.

French authorities, meanwhile, have ended the search for bodies at the site in the Alps where the aircraft crashed, killing all 150 people on board.

The search will now focus on recovering the belongings of the victims, and their identification will continue off-site through DNA analysis.

The removal of larger pieces of the wreckage from the mountainside is to begin this coming week, according to reports.

French prosecutors confirmed that a number of mobile phones had been found at the crash site and that these had been sent off for analysis.

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