Aviation: Pilots warn on new EU safety rules

Aviation: Pilots warn on new EU safety rules

The European Commission has announced plans to update basic air safety rules as part of a package of aviation-related legislation.

The proposals were partly welcomed by the European Cockpit Association, representing pilots.

Philip von Schöppenthau, ECA Secretary General said: “The proposed ‘pooling’ of national safety oversight capacities is very welcomed and the mechanisms to deal with weak or ‘failing’ national oversight authorities are an absolute must. However, the proposal to create a European ‘EASA AOC’ [European Aviation Safety Agency Air Operator Certificate] is premature and cannot be considered before all legal and social repercussions have been addressed”.

The ECA also raised concerns that the proposed strategy doesn’t address safety concerns linked to new contract arrangements between airlines and safety-critical staff including pilots and other crew members. The organisation also said a proposal to let foreign pilots fly EU aircraft without fully complying with EU Flight Crew Licensing (FCL) requirements could have ‘serious safety repercussions’ and deserved a ‘red card’.

In a related development the European Aviation Safety Agency published a ‘technical opinion’ in December setting out a timeline for EU regulation of drones. Meanwhile the US FAA began requiring mandatory registration of all drones that weigh more than 250 grams. Existing owners had until 16 February to apply for a permit for their devices.

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