Rules on Pilot & Cabin Crew Fatigue Potentially Unsafe

Breaking the 'Veil of Silence' – on 5 October, in 22 Countries:

On Monday 5 Oct., hundreds of pilots and cabin crew members will be at European airports to inform the public that the EU has scientific evidence that EU rules on air crew fatigue are potentially unsafe. They will hand out fake boarding passes featuring cigarette-style health-warnings, detailed information on crew fatigue, and an explanation as to why EU law must be changed.

One year has passed since the EU received scientific evidence (the 'Moebus report', mandated by the EU itself). It recommends concrete legislative changes to ensure passengers and crew are protected against fatigue-related safety risks. Rather than starting to swiftly change the law, strong airline lobbying paralysed the EU into inaction. ECA and ETF say: 'Brussels' must act NOW!

Striving for highest levels of aviation safety, ETF and ECA have decided to break the 'veil of silence' and go public – at airports, in the media, and towards the EU Institutions.

"This Action Day is the first of a number of possible actions pilots and cabin crew will undertake to highlight the safety risks of crew fatigue. Inaction at EU-level has eventually triggered a reaction from the safety professionals who passengers trust. If the EU does not act, we will." warns Capt. Martin Chalk, President of ECA.

"Flight safety is the core mission of every cabin crew member. But EU-law is insufficient to ensure that air crew can perform their safety role in an alert and effective way. We know this from experience, and scientific evidence confirms it. The EU has been looking the other way for too long. This must change!" says Francois Ballestero, ETF Political Director.

"When the airlines claim there is no need to change EU fatigue rules, you start wondering what their goal is. Yes, stricter fatigue rules – as recommended by the scientists – might cost money. But safety always has a price. Do we need a fatal accident in Europe before actions are taken?" asks Philip von Schöppenthau, Secretary General of ECA.

See the ECA/ETF Press Release (PDF)