Major victory for air safety after EU Parliament rejects proposal

EU plans which would have made flying less safe have been rejected after the SNP group in the European Parliament – Greens/EFA – moved a motion to scrap them.  The plan would have standardised aviation regulations and would have resulted in lower standards for pilots flying into our airports.

Speaking after the vote, Alyn Smith MEP said:

“This is a victory for airline safety and common sense.  The proposed plans would have reduced the number of crew on long-haul flights, had pilots on long stand-by duties and landing aircraft after being awake for a full day. 

“The opposition from aviation professionals – the people who fly every day – was intense; they had real concerns for their own safety and the safety of their passengers.  We heard last week that half of the pilots in our skies have admitted to have fallen asleep while in the air already, it would be terrifying to think they could be flying even longer.

“We have the best airline safety rules in the world and the rest of Europe should come up to our standard, we shouldn’t be lowering standards to match them.  We’ve scored a victory this time and we’ll keep an eye out for it coming back to us.”

The motion was backed by the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa), whose general secretary Jim McAuslan said: 

"The commission must now go back to the drawing board and work with pilots and scientists to develop rules on flying time and tiredness that are based on evidence and expert experience.

"Pilots will continue to urge UK ministers, MEPs and the CAA to protect the safety of our skies and help pilots make every flight a safe flight."