The FINANCIAL — Today 115 European network, regional and leisure airlines joined forces to respond to a pilot and cabin crew demonstration, which creates a misleading picture of European aviation safety regulation.
Cabin crew and pilot unions object to a regulatory proposal which will harmonise existing rules for Flight Time Limitations (FTL) and rest requirements across the EU. This week, the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) rulemaking group will meet to discuss the proposal.
“Today’s action by pilots and cabin crew paints a misleading picture of what the EASA rulemaking group is trying to achieve,” said Association of European Airlines (AEA) Secretary General Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus. “European FTL rules have been and continue to be safe.”
“The proposed FTL rules are not a relaxation of today’s standards, as suggested by the unions. They simply harmonise the different FTL requirements that currently exist across Europe. They even include some new, more restrictive requirements and limitations,” added Mike Ambrose, Director General of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA). “Airlines and regulators will never allow this fundamental safety cornerstone of our industry to be compromised.”Sylviane Lust, Director General of the International Air Carrier Association, concluded: “Today’s demonstration does not help the rulemaking process or the travelling public. If EASA had any concerns about the existing rules – before, during or after the rulemaking process – it would have reacted with immediate action.”
According to Association of European Airlines, all stakeholders, including pilot and cabin crew unions, safety regulators and airline representatives, have actively worked together in the rulemaking group and have been given the opportunity to express their views. Airlines will voice any outstanding concerns within the EASA rulemaking group. The three associations called on the unions to channel their comments into this forum.