Published on Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Pilots issue safety warning

British pilots have welcomed reports that 2017 was the safest year in history for commercial airlines, but warned that pilot fatigue was still a threat to flight safety.

The British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) also warned of the dangers posed by modern technology, including lithium batteries, which are often found in digital devices such as laptops, drones and lasers.

Two separate pieces of research by Dutch consultancy To70 and the Aviation Safety Network found that although there were five fatal accidentals involving smaller, turbo-prop aircraft, there were no passenger jet crashes anywhere in the world in 2017.

BALPA said this was good news, but urged the aviation industry to remain vigilant to the safety risks which these figures might mask.

It said that by focusing on a lack of fatalities, serious incidents and possible trends that could have had devastating outcomes were it not for the training, dedication and professionalism of pilots might be overlooked.

BALPA flight safety specialist Steve Landells said: "These early figures are great news and we hope these findings are an indication of what we can expect in the accidents statistics that will be released by IATA later this year.

"Pilots work day-in, day-out to ensure flight safety. But it's important we don't allow these good figures to breed complacency.

"Pilots have told BALPA that they are being pushed to their limits and have highlighted fatigue as a huge challenge for aviation. No one wants tired pilots on the flight deck and BALPA is working with regulators and airlines to create an industry-wide culture that understands and prioritises fatigue.

"We are also seeing a rise in the use of modern technology such as lithium batteries, drones and lasers and it is important that we ensure their use does not have a negative impact on flight safety.

"BALPA is working with the Government to ensure it acts on its commitment to bring in regulations to tackle the rise in near misses with drones and the rise in attacks on aircraft by lasers swiftly in 2018."

Story Image

Your Comments

, be the first to post a comment.
Your email:

Email other comments made to this story
Code Request a new picture 5 characters

NOTE: Comments are subject to admin approval before being posted.
Mole Poll
BA and American to launch 'basic' transatlantic fares - Good Move ?
yes 50 %
no 50 %

Thank you for your vote

Move scroll bar (above) left to right for more videos!

Sponsored features

The advantages of automated hotel mapping

With the development of advanced technological solutions that fully automate hotel mapping transforming business practices, manual and cross table mapping is becoming irrelevant.