Wake up UK – Tired Pilots Risk Lives
On 22nd January pilots across Europe took part in differing actions to demonstrate against the unsafe EU FTL proposals. In the UK, we have undertaken a unique ‘action’ by delivering a dossier containing scientific reports, correspondence and testimonials to Number 10, the Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation.
Please support this action by sharing the above video as widely as possible via email and social media. The footage will also be combined with the actions that will be taking place in other European Countries to send a powerful message to the EU Parliament about the strength of feeling amongst pilots across Europe.
EASA has published its ‘opinion’ and this will now enter the European regulatory approval process. Some elements of the rules have been improved, but overall this is still a major backwards step for UK aviation safety. Click here
to see a comparison between current UK flight time limitations and EASA’s Opinion
Furthermore in the UK much emphasis is being place on ‘Fatigue Risk Management Systems’(FRMS) and ‘Operational Experience’
What is FRMS?
Fatigue Risk Management Systems are a tool which allows operators to flex the regulations based on the specific operating environment in that airline and pilots reporting their fatigue levels. This is a great idea in principal but a central pillar of FRMS is a ‘just culture’ that allows open reporting. We believe that such a culture is incomplete within the UK aviation industry and FRMS cannot be safely deployed without additional safeguards and proper regulatory oversight
What is ‘Operational Experience’?
In simple terms this is a mechanism that decides a practice is ‘safe’ because there hasn’t been an accident.
What do the Government/CAA say?
Following the publication of the opinion, the CAA has announced that they ‘welcome’ the news rules. The Department for Transport also seem to have signed up to the idea that these rules are an improvement for Europe and provide an ‘equivalent’ level of safety in the UK. This is alarming since many elements have now been weakened and furthermore many of the ‘red lines’ that the CAA insisted on in the rule development process have now been crossed. What is to stop further dilution as the rules enter the European process?
The Government are insistent that non-regression (retaining CAP 371 in the UK) is not possible, although we still believe it is, so we will now be pushing for ‘UK safety enhancements’ to overlay on the EASA regulations.
What do we want?
We don’t disagree with harmonisation, but this should be to the highest level. If this cannot happen we must insist on ‘safety enhancements’ for the UK to be overlayed on the EU regulations. We have the biggest and busiest aviation industry in Europe and the best air safety record in the world. We simply cannot accept any dilution of standards.
What is BALPA doing?
• We will now be formally responding to the opinion and to highlight the ‘black holes’ and emphasise where the CAA has, yet again, given in to EASA.
• We have secured a meeting with the new Transport Minister, Simon Burns MP, which gives us a window of opportunity to reinforce our concerns.
• We continue our engagement with MPs to push the case for UK safety enhancements
• We are engaging with MEPs who will now start to have influence in the European rule adoption process
• Following our day of heavy broadcast activity on 1st October we will be keeping the media engaged with the risks this poses to the travelling public
• We are writing to the UK Government to again question the Scientific Governance that lead to the UK’s position.
• We continue to work with our lawyers to explore legal avenues for challenge.
For more information visit www.keepflyingsafe.co.uk