Published on Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Europe-wide pilot strike threat averted

Fears that airline flight crew would stage a mass walk-out across Europe today in protest over plans to change their flying time and rest periods appear unfounded as pilots and cabin crew decided against industrial action.

Instead, British pilots will present a dossier of evidence about pilot fatigue to 10 Downing Street, the CAA and the Department for Trade as part of the Europe-wide "walkout for safety" day. No strike action is planned.

The British Airline Pilots Association has already warned that as many  as four out of 10 pilots have fallen asleep at the controls and it will tell the Government today that current proposals by the European Aviation Safety Agency to introduce the same working hours for pilots across the EU will make the situation even worse as they are more permissive than those already in place in the UK.

The European Cockpit Association (ECA), which organised the protest day, said flight crew would be taking similar action across the Continent.

Pilots are opposing the adoption of new European rules for flight limitation and rest requirements, which they say will make flying less safe by relaxing the stringent rules that already exist.

However, the Association of European Airlines, the European Regions Airline Association and the International Air Carrier Association insist that the proposed changes do not represent a relaxation of existing rules.

They claim the new rules bring all countries into line on flight limitation requirements and even include some new and more restrictive requirements.


By Linsey McNeill

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  • IACA?!?!

    The International Air Carrier Association?! It's not a real organization.... it's just some scammy association of low-cost airlines. Of course they want their crew to fly longer for less.... safety takes a back seat for them, no doubt.

    By Brett Tabor, Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Level but at what level?

    ""They claim the new rules bring all countries into line on flight limitation requirements and even include some new and more restrictive requirements"" May well be true - some European countries currently have NO Flight Time Limitations (FTL), relying on the airline's own system not to endanger the public. Others, like the UK, have well established limitations, scientifically researched and based on fact. Instead of 'levelling' at this high standard, EASA is 'dumbing down' to the wish lists of the airlines. Even more bizarre, on the other side of the Atlantic, the FAA, post Colgan Air crash, is making sweeping changes to its FTL's, to make them even MORE onerous. For a true 'level playing field', this EASA move should be paused, the FAA research and conclusions studied, and a COMMON WORLDWIDE (or at least FAA/EASA) standard set. For the safety of us all.

    By Pete Stewart, Tuesday, January 22, 2013

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