Aircrews to walk out for safety

Pilots and cabin crew will hold parallel walkouts and rallies across Europe calling on European politicians to take steps and put passenger safety before the commercial interests of the airlines.

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Steered by their professional responsibility to safeguard passenger safety and ensure safe flight operations, aircrews are mobilising for a ‘Walkout for Safety’ on 22 January.

At a press conference on 30 November in Brussels, the European Cockpit Association (ECA) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) announced a Europe-wide action day against the Flight Time Limitations (FTL), recently proposed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

“For years now, aircrews have been waiting for safe rules to counter the dangers of crew fatigue on flight operations,” said Nico Voorbach, ECA President. “Surveys show that pilots and cabin crew are already struggling with high levels of fatigue, nodding off at the controls of aircraft. Nonetheless, EASA chose to disregard scientific recommendations and put forward a proposal that accepts high levels of aircrew fatigue.”

“No progress has been made towards addressing the deep safety concerns of aircrews. This must change”, said Francois Ballestero, ETF Political Secretary for Aviation. “Otherwise flight safety standards across Europe will go down and crews will be obliged to fly schedules which are outright dangerous and will adversely affect the safety of flight operations. This ‘Walkout’ will show that we are determined to do whatever it takes to ensure flight safety.”

“If the Colgan Air accident showed us something, it’s that a tired pilot is a dangerous pilot. EASA’s rules fail to address this and this must change today”, stated Nico Voorbach.

The ‘Walkout for Safety’ will be a jointly coordinated by ECA and ETF event which will include numerous actions, possibly up to and including industrial actions.

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