Europe’s first airline pilots’ association, BALPA, will be holding its 75th anniversary conference at Heathrow on Friday 2 November 2012.

The British Airline Pilots’ Association was formed by Captain Eric Lane-Burlsam in Croydon in 1937 because of a threat to flight safety.  Since then, safety has been in our DNA.

BALPA will be celebrating its past, but looking to the challenges of the future at its Annual Delegates Conference which opens on Friday 2 November and we are looking forward to welcoming some special guests.

Captain Mark Searle, BALPA’s Chairman, said, ’75 years on from BALPA’s foundation we are still standing up for our profession and for our pilots.  At this year’s conference we will be looking at the growing casualisation of pilot labour and the increasing use of contract pilots, and how to tackle that trend.

‘We will be focussing on the biggest threat to flight safety we’ve seen for decades – the EU’s plans to massively reduce pilot fatigue regulations and put millions of passengers at risk.

‘The health of the aviation industry is of concern to pilots so we will be looking at the damage air passenger duty and the lack of a decision about airport capacity are doing to it.

‘And we will be hearing from colleagues from the United States about their success in establishing a sensible and robust security system which recognises the role of the pilot in the security chain, and does not view them as a threat.

‘But beyond these themes, we are also looking forward to welcoming Eric Lane-Burslam’s daughter, Shireen Kitto-Powell, who will give us an insight into the life of her remarkable father who founded our association all those decades ago, as well as the General Secretary-designate of the Trades Union Congress, Frances O’Grady and other special guests.’

BALPA’s Annual Delegate’s Conference will open on Friday 2 November at 10am and will close on Saturday 3 November at 4.45pm at the Renaissance Hotel, Heathrow.

Further info/interviews call Richard Toomer 07889 087 943 or email