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January was a special month. ECA and its Member Associations across Europe showed the determination to fight against the proposed new air crew fatigue regulation on 22 Jan. Together with cabin crew members from the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) thousands of flyers where distributed to the passengers of our aircraft explaining why the current proposal is potentially dangerous. Further in this Cockpit News you can read a detailed article about this ‘Walkout for Safety’.

On 23 January EUROCONTROL issued its European Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Excursions.  This plan, called EAPPRE, includes provisions for airline pilots to be closely involved in identifying potential runway safety issues and working on means to mitigate runway safety deficiencies at a local level. The action plan provides a comprehensive set of stakeholder-specific guidelines and recommendations on how to reduce the number of runway excursions. ECA experts and staff worked very close together with EUROCONTROL on this Action Plan and we are very supportive of its guidelines and recommendations.

On a personal note on 28 Jan the Queen of The Netherlands, Queen Beatrix, announced that she will step down on April 30 2013 leaving the monarchy to Crown-Prince Willem-Alexander. He is an aircraft pilot and I still remember when I was flying for KLM Cityhopper, Willem-Alexander was flying as a co-pilot on the Fokker 100 and 70. He needed to gain this experience in order to fly the Dutch Government Aircraft. He always joined our conversations and acted as one of us.  I am pleased to say that like his Grandfather, he has a passion for flying and I’d like to welcome to the throne such a great supporter of our profession.