There is no question that collection and analysis of flight data can be fundamental for improving safety and security in aviation. Neither there is a question that new technologies might help this process and could contribute to enhancement of safety. However, as the programmes and technologies used for collecting data improve, correct use and protection of this data and aircrews' privacy is a must.
To answer the increasing concerns about (mis)use of flight date and to defend aircrews' fundamental rights to privacy, ECA established a new Working Group on "Correct Use and Protection of Flight Data". This Working Group (WG) will support ECA in developing necessary safeguards and a framework of trust and common understanding with other aviation stakeholders.
For the first meeting of the WG, on 13th of September, ECA had collected and summarized different data protection agreements between airlines and pilots' associations at national level. The experts involved in the WG analysed these agreements and different national practices for handling flight data, and started pinpointing the common points. The next meeting of the Working Group is scheduled for 12 December 2006. Representatives of all ECA Member Associations are most welcome to participate.
As the WG continues its constructive work and identification of best practices, ECA will pioneer for the adoption of these "best practices" at the European level.