Europe is putting new resources into Cabin Air Quality research after an initial – rather unsuccessful – attempt to gather the FACTS about cabin air quality. The previous study did not deliver the expected data in the planned budget and timeline, and therefore wasn’t granted an extension. While the health impact of fume events on board are no longer disputed, the exact causes for contamination are still debatable. Rudy Pont presented ECA’s wish list for research & urged EASA not to use ongoing research as a blocker to the implementation of existing technology such as filtration and detection. And he stressed the need for a standardised medical protocol. See our Fume Events Reporting Guidelines.
In-between Airbus’ media storms on their fully automatic vision-based take-off and their $4 billion settlement for corruption charges, 5 pilots made a brief trip to Toulouse. ECA’s Vice-President Otjan de Bruijn was on the team meeting with Airbus to get the latest on pilot training, automation and the manufacturer’s vision for the future. You probably don’t need further hints: Reduced-crew operations was on the agenda and this year you’ll be hearing (a lot) more about it.
Vice-President Otjan de Bruijn, Board Director Tanja Harter & ECA Secretary General Philip von Schöppenthau, had the pleasure to be the first pilot representatives to meet with the EU’s new Transport Commissioner Adinda-Ioana Vălean. On our agenda was stressing the importance to continue EU’s work on tackling atypical employment abuses in aviation, such as bogus self-employment. We also flagged various safety-critical areas, such as pilot training, automation, sickness letters sent by a major airline to their pilots. All areas to be closely monitored by the new Commissioner.
The Montreal Protocol (MP14), an international effort to crack down on disruptive passengers, has finally reached the critical minimum of 22 ratifications and has now officially entered into force. But the EU is lagging behind with Malta & Portugal being the only Member States to have ratified it. This comes despite EASA & IATA’s impressive social media campaign against unruly passengers: #NotOnMyFlight. Perhaps it’s time for a follow-up campaign #MP14Ratified?
Dealing with the post-unionisation Ryanair remains as challenging (and brutal) as before. No one knows this better than the Ryanair Pilots from the Company Councils. Together with their national pilot unions they are the front liners and chief negotiators who face Ryanair management, press on with their collective demands and insist that commitments made by Ryanair are not simply forgotten. They met in Brussels to discuss strategy and exchange ideas on how to further advance RTPG’s transnational agenda. One thing is clear: the formula to success includes a key ingredient called ‘pilot unity’.