Pilots' Position

Representing over 38.000 professional airline pilots from 37 European countries, ECA has been a long-standing supporter of harmonised FTL rules across the EU. Harmonisation at the highest, scientifically derived safety level is required to keep European aviation safe, to protect passengers, and to help create an EU-wide level playing field.

As the need for changes to Europe’s FTL rules has been scientifically demonstrated – and has been reconfirmed by several expert reports between 2009-2013 – ECA insists that the EU’s current FTL rules are replaced by safe, science-based fatigue prevention rules.

EASA’s 3 proposals – the NPA, CRD and final Opinion – are not a credible basis for such rules. The Opinion, issued on 1 Oct. 2012, disregards decades of scientific evidence, including several studies commissioned by EASA itself, and is contrary to the precautionary principle. If not changed, the Opinion will reduce safety standards in many parts of Europe. (see ECA Press Release)

Therefore, the EASA Opinion must be substantially revised, be put on a solid medical and scientific basis, and aligned with the safety levels of existing state-of-the art FTL rules, best operational safety practices, and the precautionary principle.