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Government must scrap dangerous ‘light touch’ regulation, say pilots at TUC

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has raised concerns that the Governments movement towards ‘light touch’ regulation is inherently unsafe and puts public and employees at risk.

Speaking at the TUC congress today BALPA said the indiscriminate removal of regulation under the guise of being ‘better for business’ is leading to firms being allowed to regulate themselves.

A motion submitted on behalf of BALPA, the CWU, RMT, ASLEF and Prospect said that weak regulation and dwindling resources for enforcement agencies such as HSE has been at the heart of many, if not most, disasters, the banking crisis, industrial accidents, care failings and operator fatigue accidents in the road, rail and maritime sectors.

BALPA called for the government to scrap the dangerous experiment of light touch regulation and provide additional funding for regulators.

Captain Leo Nugent from BALPA’s National Executive Committee, said:

“Currently airlines and airports are given the freedom essentially to regulate themselves, and we are seeing more and more of this in the aviation industry, and in other sectors within the UK too.

“What is needed is a complete shift in the Government’s appreciation for what regulation means for safety-critical industries.

“I want a robust Civil Aviation Authority to support me when I go to work. I want to know that they are regulating UK aviation fairly, competently and effectively.

“Pilots are the last line of defence when it comes to flight safety as are many other professionals operating in their own field.

“What we need is for the Government to understand that regulation and enforcement are not dirty words. They are lifesavers. “