Pilot body welcomes European committee vote on flight time rules

airplaneThis afternoon, the European Parliament’s transport committee voted to reject the European Commission’s Flight Time Limitation (FTL) proposals, by a margin of 20 votes to 13. The European pilots’ body, the European Cockpit Association (ECA), said this afternoon that it was very happy with the result and said it sends a strong signal to the European Commission.

Captain Evan Cullen of Irish pilots’ body IALPA said, “This is very good news. Pilots throughout Europe had voiced our concerns about these flight time proposals. Our strong conviction was that these FTLs were pushing the margins of safety to unacceptable levels. But an even bigger concern for us was that the Commission continued to back the proposals despite the fact that EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency), which submitted the proposals, had disregarded the findings of its own scientific

He added, “If it comes down to a situation where EASA has to withdraw the proposal and submit a new one, pilots everywhere would make just one very simple suggestion. Go back to the scientific research, and develop an FTL system based on those findings. That is, we believe, the best way to develop a coherent system that continues to meet the highest standards of flight safety.”

Captain Cullen said that all national flight time arrangements would remain in place, with the European Parliament set to vote on the matter on October 23rd. “It would be very unusual for the parliament to depart from the democratic decision of one of its own committees” he said.