Joint ECA-ETF statement on Flight Time Limitations

September 30, 2013

Harmonisation of safety standards at EU level is an important aim in an industry that is by nature transnational. ETF and ECA are in favour of harmonized standards on FTL.

But Europe’s citizens expect harmonization at the highest safety level, based on best practices and on scientific evidence.

  • Not harmonization that forces countries to lower their safety standards;
  • Not standards that are far removed from some of the best national practices;
  • Not rules that accept the Unacceptable: an avoidable safety risk because they disregard unanimous scientific recommendations on where to set the limits;
  • Not rules that allow EASA, those who have so far ignored scientific evidence, to take all decisions on airlines’ fatigue safety programmes without democratic control.

Fatigue among pilots and cabin crew is not theory. It is a reality.

Last week, the press reported on another fatigue-related safety incident: last August, both pilots of a UK flight had fallen asleep, leaving the 325-seat passenger plane with no-one to take control in the event of an emergency. Also last month, ‘Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine’ published a report showing 90% of pilots surveyed admit they made mistakes in the cockpit due to fatigue.

The Members of the Transport Committee, who will be asked to vote this afternoon on the FTL dossier, will not be able to decide on many substantive provisions (night flights, standby, rest, etc). These essential provisions have been taken away from the Regulation and will be adopted by EASA without any possibility of scrutiny by Parliament.

We call upon the Members of the Transport Committee to STOP the Commission proposal and to vote in FAVOR of the Motion for a resolution on FTL!

Passenger Safety is in Your Hands!

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