Julian Bray Aviation Commentator, Broadcaster and Journalist writes: Am I alone in being highly concerned about the relaxation in aviation management, when a small child can seemingly easily board and take a flight to Rome, without a passport, boarding card, parent, chaperone or a credit card!
Of equal concern is the inept proposed rules for the flight deck crewing of long haul flights. I first raised this when the EC suggested, and airline managements meekly put in for a reduction of highly salaried staff engaged in flight duties. Thousands of airline passengers from the USA have been arriving in the UK for the London Olympics, just as the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has now belatedly highlighted the new EU proposed regulations, which would in most commentators view, render those flights becoming much less safe.
Simply, proposed EU regulations would allow the longest possible flights, such as London to Los Angeles, to be operated by just two pilots rather than three, as is required by international law. These long-haul routes are not only very popular with British families visiting the west coast of America but with celebrities and thousands of athletes coming to London for the 2012 Olympics.
As an example the London to Los Angeles flight is over 11 hours long, and as such current UK regulations require that a third pilot is present to ensure that adequate rest breaks are taken, to ensure that everyone is alert and focused through out the flight and especially for landing.
BALPA illustrated the position this way, showing the differences between the FAA, the current U.K. and proposed E.U. regulations:- Data assumes 09.30 report at LHR and 11.00 departure. LHR to LAX is flight time of 11.10 with pilots starting work 1.30 before departure. Currently an American crew can work for 10.30 hours before needing a 3rd crewmember. A UK crew can work for 11.45 hours before needing a 3rd crew member. Under the new EU rules the crew could work for 14 hours without a 3rd crew member which is enough to get to Los Angeles.
An information video, A Message From Britain's Airline Pilots, is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=J9yumixcN-o
Contributor: Media, Cruise Line , Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Broadcaster & Journalist Julian Bray NUJ, EQUITY UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476 ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (UK HOME ISDN 017 33 55 53 19) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK