Concern Over New Euro Rules On Flying Hours
Proposed European rules for pilots' flying hours and working conditions must be improved or safety could be at risk, MPs have warned.
A report by the House of Commons Transport Committee said night-time pilot duty proposals are a particular worry.
It is especially concerned at the "possibility that a pilot could land a plane after 22 hours awake".
The committee has examined draft proposals from the European Aviation Safety Agency (Easa) to change the rules that govern how many hours a pilot can fly.
It said airlines welcomed the suggestions but cabin crew and pilot representatives have expressed reservations, stating they "would have a negative impact on aviation safety in the UK".
Committee chairman Louise Ellman said the UK currently has stricter flight-time regulations than some other European countries, but under Easa's proposals it would not be able to have its own regime.
She said that under the existing UK rules "43% of pilots have reported falling asleep involuntarily at some point while on duty... and this shows how fatigue is already an issue in aviation".
The committee took evidence from consultant Mick Spencer, who has written his own report on the Easa proposals.
In its report, the committee said: "We share Mick Spencer's concern that 'the new regulations... could well lead to a situation where the accident risk will increase'."
Mrs Ellman said: "Current EU proposals risk making the situation worse, by lowering the UK's current standards. A lowest-common-denominator approach to safety will not benefit passengers, airlines or crew.
"The proposed 11-hour duty period at night for pilots flies in the face of scientific evidence. It should be reduced to a 10-hour maximum.
"We are also concerned at the possibility that a pilot could land a plane after 22 hours awake."
She added: "The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) must do more to monitor pilot hours so that long duty periods are the exception not the rule.
"We are also concerned about a culture of under-reporting of pilot fatigue, which the CAA must tackle."
A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: "The safety of the travelling public is paramount, which is why we have been clear that we would only support Easa's final proposals if the CAA is content that they provide an appropriate level of protection against crew fatigue."
Jim McAuslan, general secretary of pilots' union Balpa, said: "This report should be a wake-up call to the Government that it must stand up for UK-level aviation safety standards and not allow them to be watered down.
"This is not for pilots' sake, but for the travelling public."
what do you think?
This is another example of Brussels trying to level everything, and in this case down to the lowest level. Many EU nations have poorer safety records than the UK - in fact I don't think that any have better safety records. The government must stand up to this. Far better though, would be a referendum so that we can get out of the wretched bureaucratic, undemocratic, interfering and unaudited EU asap. They only want us as we are one of the highest net contributors. Why should we be taxed to the hilt to give French and German farmers an easy life?
Ban all planes, back to horses, Steptoe and son style.
If we don't do something about the cost of fuel, we may all be back to that anyway!!
Demand for oil and scarcity of oil, is a really big concern for all governments in the future. Scary times ahead.
Ha Ha Ha!
'EU again.Tut tut!' Yes, unfortunately this is the case. A slow, drip, drip of anti EU propaganda by News International. The press in this country is overwhelmingly anti EU. Every day there is a story that is fabricated, hearsay or even conjecture (like the above) but is spun in such a way to make it seem as if the EU is 'taking over'. There is never anything but dismal headlines about the EU from the UK press. (and remember that News International is owned by a US based family that DOES NOT pay tax in this country yet makes massive profits in this country and, as recent evidence has shown, has a toxic grip on our political system - far more intrusive than the EU's for example. The foreign owned press in this country has a vested interest in degrading the EU's value in our eyes. So that it can maintain its corrupt grip on our political system)
If you read the news stories you would see that it is not just the Murdoch empire that is anti-EU - and as for corruption, you are writing about an organisation that has failed to provide audited accounts for many years and in which the elected MEPs have little or no power.
The EU is accountable in that it is represented by elected members. The Government of each country is represented in the Council of Ministers. The EU has brought huge prosperity and peace to Europe and has created the largest trading block with the largest GDP in the world. There has been no major conflct between countries in the EU for nearly 70 years and neither will there be. Murdoch? He hacks dead children's phones.
Only a fool would attribute peace in Europe to the EU. The Cold War and nuclear weapons had even more to do with it, while the EU has caused civil unrest in the Mediterranean countries.
We MUST now leave the EU as they want to kill us.
'They only want us as we are one of the highest net contributors. Why should we be taxed to the hilt to give French and German farmers an easy life?' You are spreading misinformation again: The countries whose net contribution is largest as a proportion of their gross national income are the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany, then the UK, Italy and France. The four largest net contributors in absolute terms are:. Germany, France, Italy, UK The four largest net contributors in per capita terms are: Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy. The four largest net contributors as a proportion of GDP are : Denmark, Italy, Germany, Finland.
Fourth out of twenty-seven makes us one of the highest contributors!!!!!!
You didn't look at the other criteria. Germany features a lot. As does Italy. More so that the UK in every Criteria. Your assumption that the UK subsides German farmers is not borne out by the facts. You are spreading misinformation.
I think that you are spreading propaganda!
There is one other important part of the revenue calculations: the UK rebate, which returns to the UK two-thirds of its payments. This rebate is paid for by the other 26 countries as a fixed amount of their gross national income.
Blair voluntarily reduced this!
The size of member states' payments to the EU budget is broadly dependent on the size of their economy. This is because the largest component of each country's contribution is a flat payment equivalent to a fixed proportion of its gross national income (GNI) - 0.59% in 2007. There are some variations however. Thanks to its rebate, the UK pays a smaller proportion of its GNI than other countries.
Don' t see what this has to do with air safety!