As an organisation of highly-trained flight deck professionals, BALPA has unrivalled access to the expertise and experience of its 10,000 members. Many pilots form specialist study groups or committees to support our professional and technical services. Together, they represent a body of knowledge covering the following areas:

Flight Safety and Security

The Flight Safety Sub Committee (FSSC) is an assembly of the widest possible cross-section, from within the Association membership, of specialist and professional expertise. In broad terms, its main function is to consider important items of technical concern, to draw conclusions and to make recommendations, in actionable form, as policy both for the guidance of the Association and, where appropriate, for submission to the regulatory authorities and to other areas of the airline industry.

The Flight Safety Study Groups are sub-groups of the FSSC. They work as advisory bodies and they do not have executive or decision-making powers within the flight safety group.


Accident Analysis and Prevention

The Accident Analysis and Prevention group consists of 12 volunteers from the entire spectrum of aviation activity within the UK. They are all trained accident investigators and, together with representatives from IFALPA and the Air Accident Investigation Board (AAIB), meet six times a year to support the activities of the Flight Safety Sub Committee and the BALPA membership.


Air Traffic Services Study Group

The ATS, (Air Traffic Services), study group consists of dedicated volunteer pilots and ATS representatives engaged in supporting the Flight Safety Sub Committee. The group are involved in providing detailed comment on ATM, (Air Traffic Management), control, and issues emanating from the UK, European and International regulators, Government and ICAO.


Ops Aviation Medicine Group

The Ops Av Med study group are all pilots with major UK airlines, many of whom are also medically qualified including four practicing AMEs. The group is also are joined by Dr Sheila Stork, the BALPA Medical Adviser. The group advise on medical matters relating to the aviation industry and the impact of these on life and work of professional pilots. They provide up-to-date, evidenced-based medical information for the benefit of members and offer resources for continuing pilot education on medical subjects and flight safety.


Occupational Health and Safety Group

A specialist Group of H&S qualified members, with responsibility for the development and implementation of BALPA OH&S policy and procedures, and to ensure and enable compliance with relevant UK and European legislation and directives. The group provides specialist representation at industrial, governmental, regulatory and research forums.


Aircraft Design & Operations/Aircraft Ground Environment

The ADO/AGE study group work covers ICAO Annex 6 Operation of Aircraft, Annex 8 Airworthiness of Aircraft, Annex 10 Aeronautical Telecommunications and Annex 14 Aerodrome Design and Operation.


Security Group

The Security Group provides operational input of the commercial airline pilot and flight engineer in areas that relate to aviation security both in the UK and worldwide.

BALPA has a seat on the National Aviation Security Committee the highest level of stakeholder engagement with the UK government on aviation security and its Executive Committee (NASCExCo). The result of this provides a conduit for the membership to those responsible for aviation security at the highest levels.

The group works closely with colleagues of other Member Associations (MA’s) at both an International level with IFALPA at ICAO and with the European Cockpit Association (ECA) in Brussels, focusing on the EU Security Regulations EU300/2008 (formerly EU2320).


Fatigue and Scheduling Group

The Fatigue and Scheduling Group is responsible for matters pertaining to scheduling including CAP371, EASA FTL, FRMS and related subjects. The bulk of their work involves close cooperation with airline scheduling reps in the construction, amendment and policing of agreements and consultation with the regulator.


Helicopter Affairs Committee

The Helicopter Affairs Committee is a mix of technical and industrial representatives including pilot and aircrewmen from across the BALPA helicopter family. The group oversees issues such as industrial concerns within the North Sea, technical updates from both onshore and offshore, accident investigation, and all helicopter flight safety matters.

The HAC also sends delegates to industry bodies such as sub committee’s and working groups associated with Oli & Gas UK.


Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Work Group

The increasing use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) is a safety concern for BALPA. Drone technology is here to stay and will have important economic benefits for the UK in the future, but BALPA is committed to ensuring that the right regulations are put in place to keep the public, passengers and pilots safe. The RPAS Group, made up of pilots, technical experts and commercial drone operators continually review technology, support research, assess potential risks, and work with regulators on new legislation in order to make commercial aviation as safe as possible.


Retired Flight Crew Committee

The Retired Flight Crew Committee is established as a sub-committee of the National Executive Council and reports directly to the NEC. The committee monitor activities both nationally and within the wider union movement which may affect retired pilots. They also consider the problems and requests of individual retired members, and where necessary formulate policy and make recommendations to the NEC.