On board for a walkout

Several weeks after the publication of the final proposal for new Flight Time Limitations (FTL), EU citizens, pilots and cabin crew are calling on politicians and decision-makers to not accept this proposal and to carry out urgently needed changes. With a simultaneous “Walkout” on 22 January 2013 aircrews across Europe will express alarm over the safety implications of these new rules.

Announcing demonstrations and rallies ECA and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) have joined forces and are mobilizing pilots and cabin crew for the walkout in January.

“For years now, aircrews have been waiting for safe rules to counter the dangers of crew fatigue on flight operations”, stated Nico Voorbach, ECA President, during a joint ECA-ETF press conference. “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.”

During the press conference, ECA launched a video spot featuring EU Transport Commissioner, Siim Kallas, surrounded by worried passengers on Captain Dead Tired’s plane.

“Europe’s passengers are already concerned”, explained Philip von Schöppenthau, ECA Secretary General to journalists. “They responded with more than 82,000 petition signatures for safe flight duty times. Now, we have to remind EU policy-makers that they are passengers too. The same rules will count for their aircrew. So the question is – are policy-makers on board for changes that will guarantee their safety?”

The ‘Walkout for Safety’ will be a jointly coordinated by ECA and ETF event which will include numerous actions, possibly up to and including industrial actions.