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‘Your agenda is our agenda’stood as the slogan of this year’s ECA’s ‘Welcome on Board’ cocktail reception held at the European Parliament. Following last year’s success, the high-level event received nearly a hundred people offering an excellent opportunity for active pilots and Members of the European Parliament to engage and gain an even better understanding of the vital issues of today’s aviation. 

The event kicked off with MEP Ismail Ertug’s opening words, who co-hosted the reception together with MEP Wim van de Camp. Mr Ertug stressed that safety is of primary importance when it comes to the use of drones and that social dimension of aviation must be strengthened. Capt. Dirk Polloczek, President of the European Cockpit Association, highlighted that European Aviation has three burning issues:


-    To ensure that air crews’ safety decisions are not put under pressures by commercial considerations,

-    To make sure that drones are integrated safely into air space, and

-    To guarantee that Peer Support Programs are set up throughout the industry.

As he said: “Above all, we are safety professionals!”

Apart from these topical issues, ECA brought along three additional priorities for 2016 and distributed them in a form of a visual handout. The other agenda points included: Unfair Competition from Gulf Carriers, the need for better Pilots Training, and the careful use of the Performance-based approach to safety regulation. All served as excellent points for the informal discussions between MEPs and pilots.

As Capt. Dirk Polloczek summed up after the evening:
“These gatherings are our bread and butter. This is where we get a chance to share our challenges with decision-makers. They joined our reception because they wanted to hear us out and get the real ‘Cockpit Perspective’ on how professional pilots see, experience, and live European aviation. I am confident that 2016 will be another year of an excellent cooperation with Europe’s elected representatives. We once again thank Ismail Ertug and Wim van de Camp for making this event possible!”


Here, you can enjoy our short video that we shared with the MEPs. It gives a glance into our top priorities – you are welcome to share and use it further: