European institutions have been trying for the best part of 20 years to harmonise Flight Time Limitations regulations and ECA has been a strong supporter of this approach. In the early part of the decade, there was strong optimism that we would be able to negotiate a compromise with the airlines through the Social Partner structures. This would have been the best outcome for everyone - but unfortunately, at the last minute the negotiations failed.
The latest proposals were tabled by the European Parliament as an amendment to the EU-OPS regulation which translates JAR-OPS into EU law. They form "Subpart Q" of the regulation and are not based on any scientific or medical knowledge of the subject and provide an inadequate level of safety for the travelling public and our members.
As the regulation passed through the various stages of the EU process, ECA has organised a comprehensive and effective campaign to ensure that:
- there will be a proper scientific medical evaluation of the proposal
- the results of the evaluation will be used to amend the regulation
- there is language to resist regression of regulations/collective agreements where they are already better.
The adoption of the FTL rules by the EU this year does not mean the end of ECA work. On the contrary! In the immediate future, ECA will be monitoring the scientific review. In the long term, ECA will continue its responsible and professional action to promote safe fatigue-free flights.