ALPA shares safety concerns ahead of International Aviation Safety Conference

"(EASA) officials are poised to greenlight the operation of aircraft with only one pilot, which would pose a significant risk to the safety of our skies"


Aero Crew News, among other members of the ALPA news network, received the following email from the ALPA media team addressing safety concerns.

Subject: ALPA Backgrounder on FAA EASA Meeting this Week in Washington, D.C.

This week, senior aviation regulators, manufacturers and other industry stakeholders from all over the world are gathering in Washington, D.C. to discuss global aviation safety issues at the 2024 FAA-EASA International Aviation Safety Conference. Ironically, as they meet in Washington, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) officials are poised to greenlight the operation of aircraft with only one pilot, which would pose a significant risk to the safety of our skies.

These types of reduced crew operation schemes, like one being pursued by Airbus, would operate with a single pilot on the flight deck during some phases of flight and create the risk that a flight deck could be completely uncrewed if the pilot flying becomes incapacitated. Christian Scherer, Airbus’s CEO of Commercial Aviation, acknowledged this fact in a recent interview explaining “it all needs to cater for the eventuality that this one guy just ate a bad oyster and is incapacitated and the aeroplane has to take over. So one pilot or zero pilot is effectively the same thing.” Scherer also concedes that the ultimate goal is to remove all pilots from the flight deck.

EASA has been working with European Union aircraft manufacturers (Airbus and Dassault) to develop criteria for the development of various reduced crew operation schemes such as Extended Minimum Crew Operations (eMCO) and Single Pilot Operations (SiPO) on specific aircraft with an eye toward eliminating two-pilot flight decks.

It is ALPA’s priority to maintain at least two pilots on the flight deck to ensure the safety and security of all flight operations. No one understands better than a pilot that when an issue arises in flight, it is the pilots who are responsible for achieving a safe outcome. In conjunction with the FAA-EASA International Aviation Safety Conference and ALPA’s Annual Legislative Summit, ALPA is launching an aggressive paid advertising campaign to bring attention to industry-led effort to remove pilots from the flight deck and make flying less safe (examples below).

EASA officials should asked about their cozy relationship with Airbus and their plans to approve flight operations with a reduced crew complement.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this issue further, please let us know.


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