European pilots to ‘walk out for safety’

Pilots and cabin crews across Europe are to stage a “walkout for safety” on Jan 22 over proposed “flight time limitations” they say will endanger passengers and crew.

The action, which will cause huge disruption to flights across the continent, is being organised by the European Cockpit Association (ECA), which represents 38,000 pilots, and the European Transport Workers Federation (ETF).

They say the European Aviation Safety Agency has ignored scientific evidence which EASA itself commissioned and is now proposing flying hours which will worsen aircrew fatigue.

The proposals would require pilots to fly up to 110 hours in 14 days, have up to seven early starts in a row, and allow for 16 hours on standby with flight duty only starting to clock up after eight hours.

The Irish Airline Pilots Association, while a member of ECA and opposed to the new flight time regulations, will not be taking part in the walkout because it feels the strike here could raise legal issues as there is no actual dispute with their airlines as the employers. However, Irish passengers travelling to and from Europe could be badly hit.

ECA president Nico Voorbach said: “Surveys show that pilots and cabin crew are already struggling with high levels of fatigue, nodding off at the controls of aircraft. Nonetheless, EASA chose to disregard scientific recommendations and put forward a proposal that accepts high levels of aircrew fatigue.”

François Ballestero, ETF political secretary for aviation, said flight safety standards across Europe will go down and crews will be obliged to fly schedules which are “outright dangerous and will adversely affect the safety of flight operations”.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

DJ: I was dancing to drug gang’s tune

Cork to US flights get green light for takeoff

Taoiseach denies any NY snub by Donald Trump

Families of missing persons plead for more resources for searching


Breaking Stories

New parent and student charter to be unveiled in schools

One dead and three injured in two car collision in Cork

The county with the most divorces has been revealed

Compass is a new information hub for jobseekers

Lifestyle

Beating the big chill... in 1916

For Simon Delaney, Christmas is the most magical time of the year

Hallelujah for the priest whose song went viral

Festive nights out that you cannot miss this Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner